Hyundai, Grab team up to put more people in Southeast Asia inside EVs

The companies will launch programs to accelerate EV adoption in the region
by Leandre Grecia | Jun 24, 2021
PHOTO: TopGear.com
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Sister Korean companies Hyundai and Kia have been quite aggressive with their EV push lately. Both carmakers have launched a few impressive electric vehicles over the past few months, with Hyundai even launching its new EV sub-brand.

Now, Hyundai Motor Group continues its efforts to accelerate electrification in various markets in Southeast Asia through its enhanced partnership with Grab. This is sort of a continuation of the launch of a series of EV pilots in the region—specifically in Singapore in 2019 and Indonesia in 2019—wherein Grab deployed hundreds of Hyundai EVs for rental along with incentives for the receiving driver-partners.

For this new phase in the partnership, Hyundai and Grab will focus on addressing barriers that are currently hindering Grab driver-partners in Singapore from adopting EVs, such as lack of charging stations, high costs, and long waiting times for charging.

There will also be new business models piloted such as leasing EVs  with a ‘battery-as-a-service’ or a ‘car-as-a-service’ model and EV financing. The companies will also conduct a feasibility study in order to come up with ways to further develop the EV ecosystem.

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“Hyundai Motor Group and Grab were able to discover the possibility of EV businesses in Southeast Asia through our cooperation from 2018,” said Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Division vice president Minsung Kim. “With Grab having the largest driver network in the region and Hyundai’s comprehensive mobility solutions, we are confident that together we can help to increase the adoption of EVs and ultimately reduce carbon emissions throughout the region. 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.”

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“While EVs are relatively nascent in Southeast Asia, Grab plans to play a vital role in working with partners and governments to accelerate EV adoption,” said Grab group managing director of operations Russel Cohen. “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.

“For example, we’ve piloted ways to reduce driver-partners’ downtime by enabling them to swap their e-moped batteries at GrabKitchen while they wait to collect food orders. Successful EV adoption is a multi-stakeholder effort, particularly in Southeast Asia, and we’ll continue to leverage our technology and operational leadership to build a fleet for the future.”

These companies will begin their pilot programs this year in Singapore as mentioned, with plans to expand further to Indonesia and Vietnam thereafter. Who knows, maybe this movement will reach the Philippines in the future, too?

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