THE mobility arm of ride-hailing giant Grab, GrabWheels, announced on Thursday it has raised US$30 million from Taiwan's electric vehicle (EV) leader Kwang Yang Motor Co (KYMCO).
This is part of a strategic partnership to invest in and develop two-wheeler EV solutions to accelerate the adoption of EVs in South-east Asia, said the company in a press release.
KYMCO's Ionex electric bikes, as well as the Ionex EV charging platforms, will be deployed in South-east Asian cities where Grab operates, it said.
Chris Yeo, head of Grab Ventures and New Platform Business, said: "We are proud to partner KYMCO to invest in and accelerate the EV adoption and infrastructure in South-east Asia...The continued support from top-notch strategic partners attests to Grab's ability to execute and hyperlocal focus to deliver first-to-market innovations."
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 South-east Asia.
GrabWheels, a unit of venture building and venture investments arm Grab Ventures, declined to comment if its two-wheeler EV will be categorised as a Personal Mobility Device (PMD) here. However, KYMCO's website lists its EVs in the Ionex line as electric scooters.
In Singapore, e-scooter adoption has been testy due to tight regulations and a spate of e-scooter accidents.
In November, Grab progressively suspended shared e-scooter service GrabWheels in Singapore following an e-scooter ban on footpaths, confining the PMDs to 440km of cycling paths islandwide, instead of the additional 5,500km of footpaths riders could use before.