Hyundai and Grab have inked an agreement which will see the Korean automaker, through its Hyundai and Kia brands, investing an additional US$250 million (RM1.04 billion) into Grab to create a Southeast Asia-wide electric vehicle (EV) network that will pilot EV programmes across the region.

Back in January, the two parties announced a strategic partnership where Hyundai would place a direct investment in the Singapore-based on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform and in which the Ioniq Electric was set to feature as one of the primary vehicles.

The companies will kick off its series of EV pilot projects, which will focus on utilising EVs to maximize cost efficiencies for Grab’s driver-partners in the region, starting with Singapore in 2019. The partnership will also work with regional stakeholders, including governments and infrastructure players, to improve EV infrastructure in the region, such as the building of a network of quick-charge stations.

The project will conduct research into how EVs can be most efficiently deployed in the region’s hot and humid climate conditions and also look into the development of customised maintenance packages for Grab EV drivers.

The additional investment from Hyundai brings Grab’s current fundraising round to US$2.7 billion (RM11.27 billion) raised, and the Singapore-based company says it’s on track to raise over US$3 billion (RM12.5 billion) by the end of this year. Investors in Grab’s current financing round include Microsoft and Toyota. 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.

GALLERY: Hyundai Ioniq Electric