SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Goldbell Group has completed its acquisition of electric car-sharing firm BlueSG and is set to invest S$40 million to grow the company over the next two years, the vehicle leasing firm announced on Monday (Oct 18).
The amount makes up 60 per cent of the S$70 million it previously said it will invest in the company over five years.
BlueSG - which currently has about 650 shared electric vehicles (EVs) in Singapore - was previously a subsidiary of French conglomerate Bollore Group.
It began operations here in 2017, in partnership with the Land Transport Authority and the Economic Development Board, as part of efforts to make Singapore’s transport system more sustainable.
The 41-year-old Goldbell Group first announced the acquisition in February this year, although it had declined to say how much the deal was worth.
In a media release on Monday, Goldbell said it is on track to expand BlueSG’s fleet size with immediate effect. It also aims to increase the electric car-sharing operator’s staff strength by 20 per cent at the end of this year with the addition of a new technology team.
“Among Goldbell’s immediate priorities is to realise BlueSG’s potential with the expansion of its business and technical capabilities to develop a business model that will be replicated in other smart cities across the Asia Pacific Region,” the company said.
This will begin with Goldbell setting up a global headquarters for car-sharing by the end of this year, to be established through BlueSG.
It will set the stage for overseas expansion within the “next few years”, the firm said.
An open innovation platform, which will act as a testbed for experimental technologies such as energy storage and management, advanced mobility systems and charging technologies, will also be set up through BlueSG.
“The BlueSG acquisition is in line with the establishment of Goldbell’s Global Innovation Centre for Future Mobility, whose mission is to look into new business models or technologies in the mobility space such as vehicle sharing, app-based vehicle leasing, intelligent warehousing, mobility analytics, and mobility algorithms,” the Singapore-based firm said.
Goldbell chief executive Arthur Chua said BlueSG will enter a “new era” with its acquisition.
“Not only are we interested in deploying newer generation, experimental technologies in our car-sharing fleet, we are also looking forward to working with companies, as well as local institutes of higher learning and research institutes, to realise our vision to evolve the BlueSG fleet into a living lab for Future Mobility innovations,” he said.
Jenny Lim, who previously served as BlueSG’s commercial and network director, has been appointed BlueSG’s Singapore head, responsible for overall operations.
In July, it was announced that BlueSG’s network of more than 1,500 electric vehicle charging points would separately be acquired by French energy giant TotalEnergies, previously known as Total.
Goldbell said on Monday that existing BlueSG customers will continue to enjoy the same “convenience and efficiency of the services as before” following the TotalEnergies acquisition.
The company is looking forward to working with a variety of charging infrastructure providers here, said Mr Chua.
He added that Goldbell is also “excited” about the interest among international companies looking to “tap into our BlueSG brand to showcase their new electric vehicle models” as part of its fleet expansion quest, although he did not identify specific companies.