Hyundai Motor Group and Kia Motors Corporation have just announced a strategic new partnership with Grab that aims to accelerate electric vehicle (EV) awareness and infrastructure across Southeast Asia.
The deal—which is on top of an existing one between Hyundai and Grab—will see the two car manufacturers investing an additional $250 million (P13 billion) into the ride-hailing firm to pilot EV programs across the region. The first country to reap the benefits of this development will be Singapore—Grab’s home market—in 2019.
According to a statement released by Hyundai, the plan also hopes to develop a “customized maintenance package” for Grab drivers utilizing EVs, and to conduct research on how to efficiently deploy the technology under hot and humid climates. What’s more, one of the partnership’s goals is to improve EV infrastructure in the region, as well as to establish a network of quick-charge stations.
“As home to one of the world’s fastest-growing consumer hubs, Southeast Asia is a huge emerging market for EVs,” said Dr. Youngcho Chi, Hyundai Motor Group’s chief innovation officer. “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.”
With two of the biggest names in car manufacturing working with Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing service provider to bring EV awareness to the region, maybe there’s finally hope for fossil-fuel-dependent countries like the Philippines. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.