Electrification is the future, and everyone wants in on the game. From traditional brands to new players, carmakers are looking for a slice of the new market. In what is shaping up to be an ultra competitive environment, being distinct in the approach taken for the new mobility makes all the difference in ensuring an advantage.

Moving beyond the idea of just another electric vehicle is what BeyonCa is looking to deliver. The international start-up is looking at providing at a vehicle being more than just clean, efficient mobility, aiming to, as the Straits Times reports, build an “elegant AI (artificial intelligence) electric vehicle” that will ride the wave of the new frontier. A smart service platform to serve needs beyond the car itself is set to further distinguish the company from others.

The right driving force to ensure this happens is necessary, and for BeyonCa, it comes in the form of founder Weiming Soh. The Singaporean certainly has the right credentials, with an impressive track record of making things happen. His tenure with Volkswagen in China – where he was one of its top executives, sitting on the board of management of Volkswagen Group China as well as FAW-Volkswagen – earned him the reputation as a “fixer,” the reformer who overhauled the automotive giant’s approach to business and transformed its fortunes in that market.

Having parted ways last year with the German automaker, he is now looking to accomplish the same on his own by transforming the EV space with his new start-up, guided by the belief that the future of the automotive industry and transportation will be found in smart EVs and the intelligent ecosystems services in, around, and beyond them.

The holistic approach will see BeyonCa delving into the entire aspect of the EV ecosystem, encompassing areas of connectivity, autonomous driving, the supporting network (charging and infrastructure) as well the multitude of scope in forward-looking tech, including artificial intelligence and voice control.

To achieve that, Soh has assembled a team of international recruits not just from carmakers and companies in the traditional auto business, but also experts in artificial intelligence, batteries and software from the likes of Google, Alibaba, Xiaomi and Baidu. They include another Singaporean, Alex Cheng, an artificial intelligence expert who previously had tenures at Oracle, Google and Baidu, where he was a VP in its US operations.

Also in the core founding team are Shaoshan Liu, BeyonCa’s Chief Scientist and Autonomous Driving Lead, an expert in robotics and unmanned systems who was formerly with Baidu and helped establish its progress in autonomous driving, as well as Ren Tian, the company’s User Experience and Interaction Lead, who was one of the first designers to work on UX design in China during his tenure with Xiaomi Group, and has won nearly 30 design awards including that from Red Dot, iF and Good Design.

Other founding BeyonCa members include Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, who was formerly on the board of Audi, Volkswagen Group and is one of the most experienced development engineers in the industry, with an expertise in designing and developing an outstanding E/E-vehicle architecture with advanced hardware and software capabilities, as well as Christian Klingler, another former member of the board of management at Volkswagen AG.

By all accounts, BeyonCa sounds like it will be very different, but the product and corresponding philosophy will define how so. As yet, nothing has emerged yet about the company’s first vehicle, both from a tech and design viewpoint, but the first details are expected to come about very soon. It could be at the upcoming Beijing Auto Show in April, if Chinese publication Callian’s claim of a timeline for a reveal is right.

The Porsche Taycan, which BeyonCa’s upcoming EV has been benchmarked against.

The Chinese report also indicates that insiders revealed that BeyonCa’s offering will be benchmarked against the Porsche Taycan, both from a performance and pricing viewpoint, but will offer more than just that. As for market introduction, the ST report indicates that the car could be rolled out in the first quarter of 2024. While the initial focus will be on the domestic market, the company is looking to expand its presence globally.

According to sources familiar with the matter, BeyonCa is planning to tap into the rapidly emerging Southeast Asian market in the coming years as it extends its reach to a wider audience, and Malaysia is reportedly on the automaker’s radar, not just from a retail point of view.

The company is said to be intently viewing future localised assembly in the region, and word is that Malaysia’s recently announced EV incentives could provide the impetus into investment of such a facility for this market. Expect to hear more about this when the brand – and its all-encompassing philosophy – finally emerges into the open soon.