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Sustainability

Grab to give commuters choice of electric or hybrid vehicles, option to pay S$0.10 extra to reduce carbon footprint

SINGAPORE: From Jul 14, those booking a Grab ride from the central part of Singapore will be able to opt for a ride on a hybrid or electric vehicle, as part of the ride-hailing platform’s drive to become more sustainable. 

From that date, they will also have the option of paying an additional S$0.10 to contribute to eco-friendly projects to help reduce their carbon footprint. 

JustGrab Green will employ a fleet of vehicles which meet the Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) A2 emissions standard, such as the Hyundai Kona Electric or the Toyota Prius.

This will allow carbon emissions to be reduced by an estimated 55 per cent compared to conventional petrol vehicles, Grab said in a media release on Wednesday (Jul 7). 

Screengrab of JustGrab Green, which aims to allow passengers to reduce their carbon footprints by selecting an electric or hybrid vehicle when booking a ride on the Grab app. (Photo: Grab)

READ: Electric vehicles may be fast and low-maintenance, but are they a real climate solution?

The Singapore-based firm - which earlier this year announced plans to go public with a US$40 billion (S$53 billion) valuation - said the trial service will operate under the same price structure as JustGrab, which deploys the nearest taxi or private-hire car to commuters for a flat fare. 

The JustGrab Green option will first be made available to those booking trips from areas such as the Downtown Core, Marina South, Marina East, Bukit Merah, Outram, Queenstown, Bukit Timah, River Valley, Tanglin, Orchard, Newton, Novena, Toa Payoh, Bishan, Rochor, Kallang, Marine Parade and Geylang before being progressively expanded to other locations. 

To reduce their carbon footprint, commuters will also be able to pay an additional S$0.10 on top of their fare, which will go towards carbon offset and solarisation projects in Singapore and the region.

The Green Programme, which will also roll out on Jul 14, will see Grab will match commuters’ S$0.10 contribution for up to three million rides.

Among the projects supported by the initiative is a collaboration between Grab and Sembcorp Industries to install solar panels on the rooftops of community institutions in Singapore, such as community clubs and welfare homes. 

The programme will also support a tie up between Grab and Dutch energy giant Shell to buy carbon credits from the Katingan Mentaya Project in Indonesia, which restores natural forests and conserves peatland habitats.

READ: Grab to increase fares by S$1 to improve earnings for drivers in Singapore

The ride-hailing giant will also be expanding its electric and hybrid vehicle fleet through its rental arm, GrabRentals, and aims to have its entire fleet running on “cleaner energy” by 2030, as part of its transport sustainability goals. 

This is in line with plans under the Singapore Green Plan to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles by 2040 and replace them with cleaner energy alternatives, the firm noted. 

"Our 2030 Transport Sustainability Goal is our commitment in taking a holistic approach to combat climate change," said Grab Singapore transport managing director Andrew Chan. 

"Introducing JustGrab Green and the Green Programme are the first of many steps Grab is undertaking to create solutions to environmental challenges. It is a team effort, and we will continue to examine ways where we, alongside our partners and consumers, can make a net-zero carbon future a reality for Singapore and the region."

Grab’s group head of marketing and sustainability Cheryl Goh had last month said the firm had invested more than US$200 million (S$269 million) to increase the number of electric and hybrid vehicles in its rental fleet. 

Grab had also last month announced plans to partner with automaker Hyundai to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in Southeast Asia. 

In May, rival Gojek - which operates in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore - said it aimed to make every vehicle on its platform an electric vehicle by 2030.

Meanwhile taxi operator SMRT said in April that its entire fleet - which currently stands at 1,797 cabs - would comprise electric vehicles within the next five years.

Source: CNA/az(rw)

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