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Gojek partners with TBS Energi Utama to develop an ecosystem for two-wheeled electric vehicles where battery swap stations replace gasoline trucks




The government of President Joko Widodo sees the electric vehicle industry and battery manufacturing in particular as a key growth sector for Indonesia. It allows the country to exploit its strengths in terms of natural resources while moving it towards value-added industries that will generate quality jobs.

Two years ago, Indonesia banned exports of nickel, a crucial part of second-generation lithium batteries that are expected to power much of the electric vehicle revolution.

Not convinced: Gojek Samsul’s driver with his two sons. Nathalie Santi

However, Gojek must first convince the drivers he hires to transport passengers and all manner of deliveries to destinations across the country that electric vehicles are the way to go.

Samsuri, one of those drivers, was surprised but upbeat when asked about the planned change as he waited for a job outside a mall in east Jakarta. For the past three years, Samsuri has worked part-time for Gojek to supplement his income as a civil servant.

If I could buy an electric motorcycle in installments, I definitely would, he said.

Another driver, Samsul, was not convinced. Charging will be the problem, he said.

Gojeks’ transit rival Grab began last year convincing its food delivery drivers in Jakarta to use motorcycles powered by lithium-ion batteries. There were a few issues, however, said Gojek third driver Ari Pribadi.

Once the battery is discharged, drivers need to find a station where they can swap out a fully charged station.

EV showcase at G20

My friend, a Grab rider, found that the distance he could cover with the electric motorcycle was too limited and that there were other performance issues as well. He returned to a gasoline-powered bicycle, Mr. Ari said.

Gojek hopes a staggered start will help prevent his drivers from making similar reversals. Its pilot project starts with 500 electric vehicles and will guide future investments in technology and infrastructure.

Indonesia plans to use its G20 presidency to showcase its electric vehicle capabilities. The G20 summit scheduled for Bali next year will feature motorcycles and electric cars.

Construction of a 15.9 trillion Indonesian rupiah ($ 1.5 billion) electric vehicle battery factory has started in Karawang, West Java, and Joko Widodos’ government is focusing on all elements of this emerging industry, according to the Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.

The government plans to have 31,859 electric vehicle charging stations and 67,000 motorcycle battery exchange stations by 2030, and has underscored the nascent industry’s environmental friendliness.

However, while moving away from gasoline consumption will reduce pollution, Indonesia’s slow shift to renewable sources for power generation means that most electric vehicle batteries will be charged with coal for some time. .

This has prompted some observers to wonder to what extent the adoption of electric vehicles will reduce emissions.

If we want to use electric vehicles, the generator must also be low carbon or zero carbon, said Mohammad Rachmat Sule of the Faculty of Mining and Petroleum Engineering at the Bandung Institute of Technology.

In my opinion, some of the targets for electric vehicles are unrealistic.




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