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GrabWheels raises $30M from Taiwan's KYMCO to accelerate EV adoption in SEA


GrabWheels, the mobility arm of Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab, announced that it has secured US$30 million investment into its ongoing Series A round from Taiwanese electric vehicle (EV) company KYMCO. The funding is said to be the part of a strategic partnership to develop two-wheeler electric vehicle (EV) solutions to accelerate the adoption of EVs in Southeast Asia.

The partnership will enable both firms to jointly explore developing and deploying two-wheel electric vehicles, specifically KYMCO’s Ionex electric bikes, as well as the Ionex EV charging platforms in Southeast Asian cities where Grab operates.

The partnership will also include a research study in which GrabWheels and Kymco will look into how best to develop a shared two-wheel EV service, build electric charging infrastructure, and ensure KYMCO’s EVs meet the licensing requirements across Southeast Asia.

Chris Yeo, Head of Grab Ventures and New Platform Business, said, “This joint effort underscores our commitment to work with strategic partners and local governments to bring about a safer and more environmentally sustainable transport network.”

“The transition toward electric vehicles is one of the most significant transformations of personal transportation for the next 10 years,” said Allen Ko, Chairman of KYMCO Group, who added, “Accelerating this transition, KYMCO Ionex is the EV turnkey solution that empowers all businesses and governments to go electric.”

Grab has been steadily expanding its EV ecosystem by collaborating with governments and partners such as automakers and electricity providers, to drive up EV adoption. Grab said it plans to gain insights on how to better operate and expand EV fleets by co-developing policies with governments with the aim of making EVs more affordable, thus encouraging driver-partners and fleet owners to adopt EVs.

In July 2019, Grab and Universitas Indonesia (UI) launched GrabWheels as a green mobility solution at the university campus in Depok, Indonesia, just a month after it first offered a new subscription plan for its food delivery-partners across the city-state to be able to enjoy unlimited rides on GrabWheels’ e-scooters available at close to 30 pick-ups or drop off points across the island.

This article was first published on e27, on Feb. 13, 2020.