Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Kia, announced expanding a partnership with ride-hailing service Grab in Southeast Asia. The focus is now on piloting new EV business models such as leasing EVs with a battery-as-a-service model or car-as-a-service model, to facilitate the switch for Grab drivers.
The Hyundai Group had taken a stake in Grab in 2018 starting with providing 200 electric cars and 250 million dollars. A spokesperson said at the time, the EV partnership would also “explore the development of customised maintenance packages to Grab EV drivers.” This step is now being undertaken after the partners concluded a pilot in Singapore in 2019 and Indonesia in 2020.
Hyundai says survey results from the initial EV pilot in the city-state found that high costs, lack of charging locations and long waiting times for charging were top barriers hindering Grab drivers from adopting EV. Hence, the partners now want to offer lease EVs with a battery-as-a-service model or car-as-a-service model and EV financing.
“Hyundai Motor Group and Grab were able to discover the possibility of EV businesses in Southeast Asia through our cooperation from 2018,” said Minsung Kim, Vice President of the Innovation Division at Hyundai Motor Group. “Beyond its ongoing projects, the Group expects additional cooperation with Grab to be a key driver to lead the mobility market of the future in Southeast Asia,” he added.
Plans include developing a joint EV roadmap to accelerate adoption in Southeast Asia. The pilot programs will start in 2021, again beginning in Singapore and expand to Indonesia and Vietnam. Results are also expected to inform government policies with a view to the demands of ride-hailing services.
Russell Cohen, Group Managing Director of Operations, Grab, said, “As government EV policies and incentives are implemented, and essential infrastructure like charging stations continue to be built, this partnership will provide insights and best practices on the usage of EVs as part of the day-to-day operations of driver and delivery-partners.” Cohen mentioned examples such as advising on ideal locations for charging stations or swapping stations for e-moped batteries for delivery drivers waiting at restaurants.
Singapore in February pledged to install 60,000 charge points across the city by 2030.
Hyundai and Grab have yet to deliver details on the deals. Hyundai Motor Group brand Kia, however, struck a similar deal with Uber in Europe a few days ago, which includes discounted rates on Kia electric cars.