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KSP To Fully Support Battery-Powered Electric Vehicle Shift

JAKARTA - Chief of Staff Moeldoko said that Indonesia intended to accelerate the battery-powered electric vehicle (KBL BB) program - a program driven by rising concern on climate crisis - and the Executive office of the President (KSP) stated their readiness to assist the plan.

According to Moeldoko, the acceleration program was mandated directly by President Joko Widodo through a Presidential Regulation No. 55/2019. “The focus of this policy is to reduce fossil fuel consumption while at the same time improving the local air quality,” Moeldoko said as he chaired the virtual coordination meeting on Tuesday (13/7).

He went on to say that the government is setting sight on becoming a major global player in the newly electric-powered transportation economy. “This is a good opportunity for Indonesia to become the manufacturing giant and export base of the electric vehicle industry,” the former Indonesian Military (TNI) general said.

In following up on the Presidential Regulation, related ministries/institutions including the Transportation Ministry have initiated the development of Electric Vehicle Roadmaps to support the fastened electric shift.

"In order to encourage more people to make electric shifts and leave fossil-fuel vehicles, it is necessary to gain support from various players including the banking sector in relation to the banking financing schemes for the acceleration of the program," he explained.

The Transportation Ministry’s land transportation director general Budi Setiyadi, said that the government has been carefully drafting some regulations regarding electric buses.

"I don’t think we find much problems with two-wheeled electric vehicles as most vehicle workshops have upgraded themselves to adopt and to meet the requirements in providing the electric-based service,” Budi said, adding that the central government also pushed for the use of electric vehicles as the main operational transportation.

Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP) Commercial Banking of Mandiri Bank Totok Priyambodo said that Single Brand Holder Agents (ATPM) has agreed to be in the financing scheme partnership with the Bank.

"We have a pipeline for the procurement of 30 electric buses in Jakarta around August and September. But we want to know the readiness of the infrastructure which will support the electric facilities, such as charging stations and so forth," Totok said.

Nevertheless, the main concern was always about how to increase the public perception and interest in using electric vehicles. The price of electric vehicles is notably higher than conventional ones, which is a major reason behind consumers’ reluctance to make the electric shift.

“Thus, we have offered special loans for electric vehicles since last year, yet the low demand is not quite what we expected," the Small and Medium Enterprises Director of state-owned lender PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Amam Sukri said.

In his response to the issue, Moeldoko said that it might need more efforts to encourage and educate the society about the urgency of electric-powered vehicle shift, especially as it is a new thing for the country.

Under the current administration, the local automotive industry is expected to begin domestic electric vehicles production by 2021 or 2022 to reach the target of exporting 200,000 electric cars by 2025. The country has stated an ambitious target of 1 million cars exported a year once the acceleration program showcases positive results in boosting local production.