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Grab, BYD Cars eye EV pilot study for ride-hailing in Phl

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Driving towards a sustainable transportation sector, Grab Philippines and BYD Cars Philippines launch a pilot study aimed at examining the feasibility of introducing electric vehicles (EVs) into the digital ride-hailing industry.

The pilot study will run for one month and will closely follow the experience of a contingent of Grab driver-partners testing out the BYD Dolphin. It will examine key operational and economic implications of using EVs as TNVS vehicles.

Through the analysis of collected data on total distance covered, battery efficiency, and their impact on the earning capacity and overall productivity of driver-partners, Grab and BYD Cars Philippines aim to offer valuable insights to transport stakeholders. Their goal is to help navigate the path towards greener mobility options in digital ride-hailing, while exploring potential cost-effective and profit-maximizing alternatives to conventional fuel-combusting vehicles.

Grab Philippines Head of Mobility EJ Dela Vega shares, “Grab is fully dedicated to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040 and critical to this is the inclusion of low or zero-emission vehicles in our fleet. Through this pilot study, we aim to formulate strategic recommendations around the effective integration of electric vehicles in ride-hailing fleets as we proactively co-engineer a more sustainable Philippine mobility ecosystem with all transport stakeholders.”

In the Grab ESG Report 2023, it was revealed that the leading superapp in Southeast Asia was able to reduce ~71,000 tCO2e through the use of low and zero-emission transport options. Still, several key factors must be considered in the shift to sustainable mobility, including charging infrastructure, public awareness and adoption, and regulatory frameworks.

Toti Zara, Head of Retail & Distribution of ACMobility, Ayala’s automotive and mobility infrastructure group, is confident that the joint pilot study with Grab is a significant stride towards addressing these challenges. He views this collaboration as a crucial step in paving the way to the electrification of local ride-hailing. “The results of these end-to-end trials will help us create an ecosystem-wide approach to accelerating the adoption of sustainable mobility in our country. We are glad to be pioneering this landmark study with Grab, who share our passion for safe and efficient transportation that is friendlier to our environment,” Zara shares.

The dedicated fleet of driver-partners has completed a specialized training with BYD Cars Philippines – equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate the roads using an electric vehicle

In preparation for the deployment of the EVs in the GrabCar fleet, the dedicated group of Grab driver-partners underwent a special training with the BYD Cars Philippines team. The training covered a variety of subjects, including understanding charging options and planning, and the notable differences between EVs and traditional fuel-combusting cars. One such difference is the concept of regenerative braking, a unique feature in EVs that allows drivers to recapture energy as they decelerate. Driver-partners were also trained to use ACMobility’s network of EV chargers, which can be easily located and accessed through the EVRO mobile app. This app is available for download via the Google Play Store and the Apple Store.

On his part, LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz has expressed support for the EV pilot study in the TNVS industry. “We are committed to advancing the transportation landscape of the Philippines through innovation and sustainable solutions, and this pilot marks a critical step in our efforts to explore and understand the unique opportunities and challenges associated with EV adoption in our country, and will provide us valuable insights and data to help us craft informed, inclusive, and effective policies that support and promote sustainable urban mobility while ensuring the safety and convenience of the commuting public. We thank Grab Philippines and ACMobility for this proactive initiative and look forward to collaborating more closely towards a greener and more sustainable future for Philippine transportation.”

The EV pilot study will launch in BGC, Makati City, Pasay City, and Mandaluyong City, leveraging the areas’ existing EV charging infrastructure.

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