Ride-hailing firm Grab announced total investment of $250 million by South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Group and its affiliate Kia Motors for the development of electric vehicles. (Photo courtesy of Grab)
Hyundai, Kia Invest $250m in Grab to Develop Electric Vehicles
BY :SARAH YUNIARNI
NOVEMBER 09, 2018
Singapore. Ride-hailing firm Grab announced total investment of $250 million by South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Group and its affiliate Kia Motors for the development of electric vehicles.
Under the partnership, Grab and Hyundai will invite industry stakeholders to collaborate on ways to encourage wider adoption of electric vehicles in Southeast Asia.
"As home to one of the world's fastest-growing consumer hubs, Southeast Asia is a huge emerging market for electric vehicles. With its unparalleled footprint across the region and an ever-expanding base of customers and merchants, Grab is an invaluable partner that will help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in Southeast Asia," Young Cho Chi, chief innovation officer and head of strategy and technology at Hyundai Motor Group, said in a statement on Wednesday.
The three companies will launch a series of pilot projects in Southeast Asia, with the first, set to begin in Singapore next year, aimed at increasing the use of electric vehicles to improve cost efficiencies for Grab driver partners.
The project will involve regional governments and the private sector to provide infrastructure, including a network of recharging stations for electric vehicles.
The partnership will also include maintenance packages for Grab driver partners who are using electric vehicles, research on the maintenance of the technology in a tropical climate, and ways to customize the technology for mobility service platforms.
"As the largest fleet owner of EVs in Singapore, we are excited to establish an industry partnership with Hyundai Motor Group to drive EV adoption across Southeast Asia. We both share a common vision on the electrification of mobility as one of the key foundations for building an environmentally sustainable and lowest-cost transportation platform," Grab president Ming Maa said.
The investment by Hyundai and Kia brings the total raised by Grab so far this year to $2.7 billion. The Singapore-based company has set a target of $3 billion for this year.
Current investors include Booking Holdings, Microsoft and Toyota, in addition to global financial institutions such as OppenheimerFunds, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Citi Ventures.
Grab and Hyundai started exploring collaboration in the electric vehicle sector after the made its first investment in Grab in January this year.
The cooperation then expanded by including Kia to promote the use of the electric vehicles in Southeast Asia.
Grab announced a partnership with energy utility company SP Group in August for use of its public charging network in Singapore.
Hyundai and Kia have been making significant investments in startups, especially in the adoption of artificial intelligence, including autonomous driving and ride-sharing technology. Hyundai owns a minority stake in Kia.
The automaker also plans to more than double its number of eco-friendly vehicle models to 38 by 2025.