Hyundai and Kia, two of South Korean Hyundai Motor Group’s automotive affiliates, has confirmed today that it has signed an agreement to invest an additional US$250 million into the ride-hailing and online payment service Grab. The investment made by Hyundai Motor Group is also a part of its commitment to championing zero-emission mobility services in Southeast Asia through the pilot project of an Electric Vehicle (EV) programs with Grab.
The additional funding has made the online to offline (O2O) company took home a total of US$2.7 billion so far.
Both Grab and Hyundai Motor Group affiliates will commit on a mission to improve EV adoption and awareness in Southeast Asia. The companies will kick off 2019 with the launch of multiple series of EV pilot projects in Southeast Asia that focus on utilizing EVs to maximize cost efficiencies for Grab’s driver-partners.
“Southeast Asia is a huge emerging market for EVs because it is a home to one of the world’s fastest-growing consumer hubs. We chose Grab to be our partner to support the adoption of electric vehicles in Southeast Asia,” said Dr. Youngcho Chi, Hyundai Motor Group’s Chief Innovation Officer and head of Strategy & Technology Division.
Furthermore, the EV partnership will work with regional stakeholders including governments and infrastructure players to support EV infrastructure in the region, such as the building of a network of quick-charge stations. It will also conduct research into how EVs can be most efficiently deployed in Southeast Asia under humid climate conditions.
“Both Grab and Hyundai Motor Group share a vision on the electrification of mobility as one of the key foundations for building an environmentally sustainable and lowest-cost transportation platform. Now we’re finding ways to make EV a part of accessible mobility service platform, ” said Ming Maa, President of Grab.
Grab is on a fast 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 that was the mark of the beginning of companies’ collaboration in the EV sector, in line with Grab’s latest initiative to promote the use of EVs in Southeast Asia. Back 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.
Hyundai Motor Group has been making strategic investments in transportation tech to artificial intelligence for the past year to fulfill its goal, which is to develop more than double the number of its eco-friendly models to 38 by 2025.