Electric cars have made very few inroads into Indonesia thus far, but the announcement that the country’s biggest taxi company is rolling out a small fleet of them in the capital, with the support of the government and the state-owned electricity company, hopefully portends a bright future for the eco-friendly vehicles in the archipelago.
Yesterday, Blue Bird Group announced the launch of their new electric fleet consisting of 25 BYD model e6 A/T cars from China and four Tesla model X 75D A/T cars from the UK. They are the first taxi company in Indonesia to utilize electric vehicles.
The launch was inaugurated by Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, Energy Minister Ignasius Jonan, Maritime Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan and the Creative Economic Agency Head Triawan Munaf.
Luhut said the government supports Blue Bird’s efforts to innovate, which helps the environment while also improving the quality of service and convenience for customers.
“All efforts by people who aim to lift up Indonesia must always be supported, including those from Blue Bird,” Luhut said yesterday as quoted by Liputan 6.
Blue Bird director Andrianto Djokosoetono said the electric cars would not only be good for the environment but would add value in other ways.
“Sustainability is the focus of Blue Bird’s business. The operation of e-taxi, besides supporting environmental preservation, also supports the national energy security program through the reduction of fuel use and subsidy programs as well as the government’s gas emission reduction program,” Andrianto said.
According to Andrianto, the electric cars will feature the same tariffs as standard Blue Bird and Silver Bird taxis. The e-taxis can be distinguished by the electrical plug icons on their hoods.
State-owned power company PLN is supporting the electric endeavor by installing 19 charging units at Blue Bird’s headquarters that will supply the vehicles with the requisite voltage.
The Indonesian government has been pushing for the growth of electric cars, including a new policy that will offer monetary incentives for foreign car manufacturers to produce more of the eco-friendly vehicles, in part to help turn the country into a lithium battery production powerhouse. They are targeting 20% of all cars produced in Indonesia to be electric by 2025.