Jakarta. Ride-hailing and every-day-need app company Grab launched its electric car fleet in Jakarta on Monday, moving forward with its plan to transform road transportation in Southeast Asia's most populous country.
The company's newest service, called GrabCar Electric, comprises 20 Hyundai Ioniq Electric cars, a five-seat electric sedan manufactured by the South Korean automotive giant Hyundai.
In this first stage, GrabCar Electric is available for passengers arriving at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport's Terminal 3.
Grab expects to boost the size of the fleet to 500 electric cars within one year, Grab Indonesia's president director, Ridzki Kramadibrata, said on Monday.
"GrabCar Electric is a show of our commitment to support the EV [electric vehicle] ecosystem in Indonesia, which we first expressed when we secured a $2 billion investment from SoftBank last year," Ridzki said.
"Going forward, we want to be one of the drivers in this country for initiating more efficient and more environmentally friendly transportation solutions, and to build a closer partnership with Hyundai," he said.
Grab and Hyundai have been planning an entry into Indonesia's electric vehicle scene since 2017 when the latter and South Korean peer Kia made a $250 million investment in Grab.
Last year, Hyundai announced a $1.55 billion investment to establish an electric vehicle plant in Indonesia.
Grab and Hyundai have also pledged their support for a government initiative to bring two million electric vehicles to the country's roads by 2025.
Last month, Grab launched the Electric Vehicle Ecosystem Roadmap in collaboration with the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment.
Ridzki said whether or not GrabCar Electric could reach its first-year target would depend on the electric vehicle ecosystem in Indonesia, which includes elements such as the availability of charging stations, government regulations and tax incentives for electric vehicles.
Grab has signed an agreement with state power company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) to build a network of electric vehicle charging stations. Grab already trialed 20 electric motorbikes from AHM (the Honda PCX Electric) and Gesits, both of which manufacture electric motorcycles in Indonesia.
Sung Jong Ha, the president director of Hyundai Motors Indonesia, expressed his joy at the launch of GrabCar Electric, which at the moment uses exclusively Hyundai's Ioniq Electric cars.
"We are very happy and congratulate Grab for officially launching GrabCar Electric today. [As a company] we want to offer a smart mobility experience that our customers demand by using advanced technology like [the one featured in] Ioniq Electric," Sung said.
Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said he hoped the launch of GrabCar Electric would speed up the development of Indonesia's electric vehicle ecosystem.
"I appreciate the support from private parties such as Grab and Hyundai. With the launch of GrabCar Electric, we're one step further to achieving our target of two million electric vehicles on Indonesian roads [by 2025]," Budi said.
Customers can order a ride with GrabCar Electric from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport using the Grab app's "Available Rides" option. Rides on the electric cars – which cost 10-15 percent more than regular GrabCar Airport service – can be paid for using OVO.
Grab is now available at 23 airports across Indonesia.