Grab to trial new green ride-hailing service

The JustGrab Green service will comprise electric or hybrid vehicles.
The JustGrab Green service will comprise electric or hybrid vehicles.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Ride-hailing firm Grab will trial a new service for commuters in central Singapore to book rides only on hybrid or electric vehicles from next Wednesday (July 14) as part of its efforts to go green.

Called JustGrab Green, the service will comprise electric or hybrid vehicles with at least an A2 Vehicular Emissions Scheme banding. These include the Hyundai Kona Electric, Toyota Prius and Kia Niro Hybrid.

These vehicles emit less than 125g of carbon dioxide per km, a 55 per cent reduction compared with regular petrol vehicles, Grab said on Wednesday (July 7).

The service, which will have the same price structure as Grab's regular JustGrab service, will first be made available to passengers booking rides from central areas.

These areas include the Central Business District, Bukit Merah, Bukit Timah, Orchard, Bishan, Marine Parade and Geylang.

A Grab spokesman said the pilot will allow the firm to better assess passenger and driver patterns so as to ensure a good experience for its customers.

It will expand the service to all of Singapore progressively.

From next Wednesday, Grab users will also be given the option to pay an additional 10 cents when booking a ride to contribute to carbon offset and solar power projects.

Grab will match contributions made by commuters for the first three million rides.

One of the projects is a collaboration between Grab and Sembcorp Industries to install rooftop solar panels on community institutions in Singapore, such as community centres, welfare homes and funeral parlours.

Grab is also collaborating with Shell to buy carbon credits generated from a project in Indonesia that restores natural forests and conserves peatland habitats.

Grab said it would expand its electric and hybrid vehicle fleet in Singapore through its rental arm GrabRentals, though it did not provide more details.

The goal, Grab said, is for it to operate with a full fleet running on cleaner energy by 2030. Today, about 30 per cent of the private-hire vehicles on Grab's platform here are electric or hybrid vehicles.

A “large majority” of the vehicles in its rental fleet are also either electric or hybrid, said its spokesman.

Grab had said earlier that it has invested more than US$200 million (S$269.5 million) in electric and hybrid vehicles for GrabRentals' fleet since 2016.

Other transport operators here also launched initiatives geared towards sustainability.

In April, rival Gojek had also set a zero emissions target for 2030.

It said it would work with its fleet partners to introduce cleaner energy vehicles here. About 30 per cent of its fleet are hybrid or electric vehicles now.

Last month, Singapore Airlines Group launched a voluntary carbon offset programme for passengers and cargo customers as part of its goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.