The ride-hailing firm Grab is set to receive 250 million dollars in funding from Hyundai and Kia, who are aiming to establish a series of EV projects, beginning with Singapore, as well as the setup of an EV fast charging network.
The two major South Korean automobile manufacturers are buying stock in the Southeast Asian ride-hailing company with big urban mobility plans for the future. Under the stake investment, Hyundai will provide an initial 200 electric vehicles to Grab next year, while Kia is still unsure about providing their own electrified vehicles to the ride-hailing provider. “For Hyundai and Kia, the investments are aimed at preemptively entering Southeast Asia’s electric car markets and gaining a share in the EV-based ride-hailing services markets there,” according to a Hyundai spokesperson.
A statement by the manufacturers also clarified that the initial vehicles will be used in Singapore, where the electric vehicle ride-hailing service will launch next year, before expanding to other SE Asian markets such as Vietnam and Malaysia.
Grab President Ming Maa said: “Hyundai has some of the world’s leading technology on electric vehicles, and we’re very, very excited to work with them on what we believe is to be sustainable mobility for consumers in Southeast Asia.”
Further investments are also planned by the partners, who did not further explain how extensive the projects would be, likely due to the exploratory nature of this stage. In the press release they stated: “The EV partnership will also work with regional stakeholders including governments and infrastructure players to improve EV infrastructure in the region, such as the building of a network of quick-charge stations. The EV partnership will also explore the development of customised maintenance packages to Grab EV drivers and conduct research into how EVs can be most efficiently deployed in South-east Asia under hot and humidy climate conditions.”