Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation will invest an additional US$250 million into Grab as the three enter a partnership to pilot electric vehicle (EV) programmes across South-east Asia.
Under the EV partnership, Grab and the Hyundai Motor Group affiliates will also bring together stakeholders from the EV industry to collaborate on measures to improve EV adoption and awareness in the region.
Grab, Hyundai and Kia will launch a series of EV pilot projects in South-east Asia, starting with Singapore in 2019. The pilot projects will focus on utilising EVs to maximise cost efficiencies for Grab’s driver-partners.
The deal will see the carmakers add 200 vehicles to Grab’s fleet, according to a Straits Times article.
The partnership will also include working with regional stakeholders including governments and infrastructure players to improve EV infrastructure in the region, such as through the building of a network of quick-charge stations.
In addition, the partners will 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 its hot and humid climate conditions.
The three companies will further explore how to customise EVs to optimise them for mobility service platforms.
The additional investment builds on Grab’s existing strategic partnership with Hyundai and brings Grab’s current fundraising raised to US$2.7 billion. Grab is on track to raise over US$3 billion by the end of this year.
Investors in Grab’s current financing round include Booking Holdings, Microsoft, Toyota, and global financial institutions such as OppenheimerFunds, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Citi Ventures.
Hyundai first invested in Grab in January, and the two companies proceeded to exploring collaborations in the EV sector.
Grab’s latest initiative expands its cooperation with the Korean automotive group to include Kia.
In August, Grab announced a partnership with Singapore’s energy utilities provider, SP Group, to use SP Group’s public EV charging network for its EVs.
“As home to one of the world’s fastest growing consumer hubs, South-east Asia is a huge emerging market for EVs,” commented Youngcho Chi, Hyundai Motor Group’s chief innovation officer and head of strategy & technology division.