Singapore’s mobility and delivery service platform Grab kicked off a trial service that focuses on clean energy vehicles in central Singapore on July 14, as reported by Nikkei Asia on July 19. Titled JustGrab Green, the trial would enable commuters to book electric or hybrid cars under the same fares as other hailing options. The service only relies on vehicles with a minimal A2 Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) banding, such as Hyundai Kona Electric, Toyota Prius, and Kia Niro Hybrid, meaning a carbon emission restriction of no more than 120 g/km. According to Grab, these vehicles would reduce at least 55% of carbon dioxide emissions from conventional petrol cars.
The move was in line with Grab’s various green commitments. The company announced earlier this year that it aimed to reach net-zero carbon in 2030, by which it also promised to use all clean energy vehicles for its services. Additionally, it launched a feature in its ride-hailing services that allowed users to pay a slight premium of less than SGD0.13 (USD0.1) per ride to offset the carbon emissions during their journey. The premium would go to reforestation projects by Grab’s partner organizations. As the company’s leadership suggested in its recent ESG report, these various undertakings were intended to demonstrate the company’s dedication to sustainability and create a positive stakeholder impression ahead of its plan to go public later this year.
Grab is not the only startup in Southeast Asia that has recently unveiled ESG strategies together with public listing plans. GoTo, an Indonesian tech company that owns several apps including mobility and transaction platform Gojek, claimed in late April that it would achieve zero waste via managing disposal plastic use and zero carbon emissions through only using electric cars by 2030. The company was mulling IPO in the US in the coming months. In another example, Singapore-based online automotive marketplace Carro launched on July 1 a special low-interest financing program for hybrid or electric vehicles through the company’s fintech branch Genie. Last month, Carro’s CEO Aaron Tan also expressed interest in public listing within the next two years. Recent estimates of the company’s valuation exceeded USD1bn, placing the company among the list of newest unicorns in Southeast Asia.