Indonesia to standardize battery to boost electric motorcycle adoption


(Photo: Gesits Indonesia)

The promotion of electric motorcycles in Indonesia has not been as effective as expected. Indonesia Ministry of Industry has promised to release battery standardization regulations this January. This will make it easier for riders to replace batteries nationwide, addressing the issue of incompatible specifications among different manufacturers.

Indonesia president, Joko Widodo, introduced an electric vehicle subsidy program last year, providing a subsidy of 7 million Indonesian Rupiah (approximately USD 451) per vehicle. The goal was to increase the total number of vehicles by 200,000 throughout the year. However, the actual number of vehicles purchased using this program only 11,532 units.

As of September 2023, the registration data of Battery-Powered Electric Motor Vehicles (KBLBB) in Indonesia amounted to only 67,000 registered two-wheeled electric vehicles. At the same time, the registration number for conventional motorcycles had already reached 4.7 million. The low adoption rate of electric motorcycles is attributed to one of the reasons being lack of uniformity in battery specifications among different manufacturers.

Indonesian Minister of Industry (Menperin) Agus Gumiwang stated on Jan. 3, “For consumers, the most important aspect of electric cars and motorcycles is the durability and chargeable batteries. The charging time for electric cars must be fast, people consider 3 to 4 hours battery charging is too long, therefore the current technology can make charging times faster. Hence, the battery is the key to the success of electric car and motorcycle projects.”

(Photo: PLN)

During the year-end press conference, Agus previously disclosed that new policies would be announced in January 2024. He plans to convene the Ministry of Industry’s bureaus for metal, machinery, transportation equipment, and electronic industries, along with various stakeholders, including Indonesia’s state electricity company (PLN) for coordination. He stated, “So people riding electric vehicles from Aceh can comfortably ride all the way to Papua. Why? It’s because he believes that throughout his journey, all electric vehicle charging stations will adhere to the same standards, rather than being tailored to a specific brand.”

In response to this, most electric vehicle-related businesses are optimistic. Octavianus Dwi Putro, the marketing manager of Indonesia’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, Astra Honda Motor (AHM), expressed strong support for the government’s new regulations. He mentioned that standardization would provide convenience and comfort for consumers. He stated, “We will follow the government’s policy, but we have to look from the consumer’s perspective.”

The Chairman of PLN, Darmawan Prasodjo, mentioned that through the standardization of electric vehicle batteries, the previously scattered infrastructure can be integrated.

Additionally, Fadli Rahman, the Director of Strategy Planning and Business Development at Pertamina New and Renewable Resources (NRE), a subsidiary of the Indonesian National Oil Company (Pertamina), stated that this standardization could begin with unifying different types of connectors and Internet of Things (IoT) platforms. He said, “These are the preliminary stages before we standardize the same battery components.”

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