Hyundai, Kia invest $300 mn in Ola for EVs, smart mobility solutions

hyundai-ola-reuters The Hyundai logo is seen during the first press day of the Paris auto show, in Paris, France | Reuters

Korean automobile major Hyundai and its subsidiary Kia have together invested $300 million in ride-hailing company Ola to jointly develop electric vehicles ecosystem and fleet services for global markets.

Under the partnership, the three companies will also aim to develop electric vehicles (EVs) and charging infrastructure customised for Indian market, the companies said in joint statement Tuesday.

India is the centrepiece of Hyundai Motor Group's strategy to gain leadership in the global mobility market, and our partnership with Ola will certainly accelerate our efforts to transform into a smart mobility solutions provider, said Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group said.

Hyundai Motor Group expects to accelerate its transition from a car manufacturer into a smart mobility solutions provider, as the partnership initiatives will allow it to engage in all aspects across the entire mobility value chain including vehicle production, fleet operation and mobility services.

As part of the strategic collaboration, the companies have agreed to co-create solutions to operate and manage fleet vehicles, marking the group's first foray into the industry, as they expand operations from automobile manufacturing and sales to total fleet solutions.

"Together, we will bring to market a new generation of mobility solutions, as we constantly expand our range of offerings for our consumers. This partnership will also significantly benefit driver-partners on our platform, as we collaborate with Hyundai to build vehicles and solutions that enable sustainable earnings for millions of them, in the time to come," Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO of Ola said.

The partnership will look at supporting micro-entrepreneurship opportunities by providing access to customised Hyundai and Kia vehicles as well as financing and insurance benefits for driver-partners.

The agreement will see the three companies extensively collaborate on developing unique fleet and mobility solutions; building India-specific electric vehicles and infrastructure; as well as nurturing best-in-class opportunities and offerings for aspiring driver partners with customised vehicles, on the Ola platform. Hyundai and Kia will invest a total of $300 million in Ola, the company said.

The partnership will offer Ola drivers various financial services, including lease and instalment payments, while vehicle maintenance and repair services are expected to enhance customer satisfaction, it added.

Hyundai, Kia and Ola have also agreed to coordinate efforts to develop cars and specifications that reflect the needs of the ride hailing market (both users and drivers), the statement said.