Hyundai Motor Group is deepening its collaborating with Grab Holdings Inc in a move to speed up adoption of electric vehicles in Southeast Asia.
The role of Hyundai in the partnership is to develop initiatives that will help reduce the challenges faced by Grab drivers and delivery partners that want to switch to electric vehicles. Hyundai’s approach will look into reducing the cost of ownership and helping the drivers to overcome range anxiety.
The two partners may explore offering the battery as a service, or leasing the veichle itself and other financing options. They have plans to start pilot programs this year, starting in Singapore. Expansion to other countries like Indonesia and Vietnam will come later.
To better appreciate their task, the two companies will commission a feasibility study on EV adoption and ownership. Practical solutions to the problems will then be developed as part of the strategy. Input will be accepted from relevant parties like the government and other major players in the e-mobility scene in the region.
Hyundai and Grab however are looking beyond vehicles though as part of their strategy will address other exciting technologies like smart city solutions and other business opportunities.
The collaboration between Hyundai and Grab started in 2018 and it has seen the launch of series of EV pilots in Southeast Asia. For example, 200 electric Hyundai Kona have been added to GrabRental fleet in Singapore, with encouraging levels of acceptance by Grab’s clients. The deal also involved maintenance packages and some incentives for the drivers renting the EVs.
Grab also rolled out Hyundai IONIQ EVs for taxi operators at the Soekarno-Hatta airport, Jakarta, in Indonesia.
Explaining Grab’s rationale for signing the deal with Hyundai, Russell Cohen, Group Managing Director of Operations at Grab says: “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. 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”