Hyundai and Kia invest an additional $250 million in ride sharing platform Grab
Hyundai Motor Group announced this week that they will be increasing their investment into a popular mobile ride sharing app. While Grab is not available in the West, it is well established in parts of Asia. The company has millions of drivers and has seen over 2.5 billion rides since launching in 2012.
Hyundai has a specific set of goals in mind with their new pilot program. The aim of Hyundai's $250 million investment in Grab is to strengthen electric vehicle awareness and understanding. According to Hyundai's Chief Innovation Officer Youngcho Chi:
As home to one of the world’s fastest growing consumer hubs, Southeast Asia is a huge emerging market for EVs. 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.
The pilot program will hopefully increase the number of ride sharing drivers switching to electric transportation. Over time, the companies also intend to build out a reliable network of fast charge stations. A portion of the funds will go towards increasing government and private investment in EV charging infrastructure. In addition Hyundai, Kia and Grab will be gathering data on participating drivers. They hope to minimize costs while maximizing efficiency and reliability of EVs in the hot, humid environment of Southeast Asia.
Hyundai first invested in Grab in January of 2018. Since then, the companies have explored the performance of EVs, autonomous driving technologies, and the use of plug-in vehicles for ride sharing mobility purposes. They are far from the only major automaker to diversify their business ventures in the face of a changing industry. Many others have been making major similar investments in autonomous and ride sharing applications for EVs.
Source: Green Car Congress