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GrabCar Elektrik launches in Indonesia

The company plans to deploy 500 electric cars on the road by this year.

Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab and South Korean automaker Hyundai officially introduced GrabCar Elektrik, Grab’s electric vehicle (EV) service in Jakarta, on Monday.

Last December, Grab announced its pilot electric vehicles and its electric vehicle ecosystem roadmap. It partnered with Hyundai for the cars, and with Astra Honda Motor and Gesits for two-wheeled EV fleets.

GrabCar Elektrik will be made available with the deployment of 50 Hyundai IONIQ EV cars, with a pilot service at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Grab aims to deploy 500 cars in Indonesia by year end.

“GrabCar Elektrik is a real form of our commitment to support the EV ecosystem in Indonesia, which we’ve delivered after getting USD 2 billion investment from SoftBank last year. Moving forward, we want to be one of the active drivers who initiate collaborations to bring more efficient and greener transportation solutions and also strengthen our partnerships with Hyundai,” said Grab Indonesia president director Ridzki Kramadibrata.

When asked why Grab is piloting the EV cars at the airport, Kramadibrata replied that the international airport is a good location for Grab to study and carry out the pilot. He also mentioned that there is a cost adjustment, which is as much as 10% to 15% higher for four-wheeled EVs than regular cars. This means that the cost will be passed down to customers.

This is the first initial electric vehicle initiative for public transportation in Indonesia this year. Meanwhile, the Indonesian government is preparing industrial guidelines to support the EV industry and make Indonesia the EV hub for Asia. Last year, Indonesia’s biggest taxi operator Blue Bird group launched a fleet electric taxis by using China’s BYD, as well as Tesla cars.