TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, while visiting the headquarters of Volkswagen (VW) in Hannover, Germany, invited the automotive company to produce electric cars in Indonesia.
Pandjaitan who was flanked by Chairman of the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Bahlil Lahadalia, and Indonesian Ambassador to Germany Arif Havas Oegroseno, was received by Dirk Große-Loheide, Board Member for Procurement at Volkswagen, among others.
"Our focus now is to develop electric cars. We do not really focus on hybrid vehicles," Große-Loheide was quoted as saying in a statement on Sunday.
VW recently launched a new fully electric vehicle type VW ID.3 to be marketed next year. The car relies on a 45-kWh battery and could cover a distance of up to 330 kilometers (km).
In response to Luhut Pandjaitan's question on why VW did not market its electric vehicles to Indonesia, the company said battery charging station infrastructure in Indonesia is not ready.
The minister explained that Indonesia's state electricity company PT PLN and oil and gas producer PT Pertamina started to develop several charging stations in Jakarta, Tangerang (Banten), Bali and Bandung (West Java).
"Currently, we are developing supporting infrastructure for battery-based vehicles, in line with the Presidential Regulation (No 55 Year 2019)," he said.
In 2020, PLN has set a target to set up 160 charging stations for electric vehicles, while Pertamina has developed four charging stations.
He also explained that Indonesia preferred to use environmentally friendly and inexpensive technology.
The production cost in Indonesia could be lower than that in other countries because the country has hydropower potential, according to him.
VW officials said the company also used only environmentally friendly technology.
Earlier, Luhut Pandjaitan also visited BMW company in Munich, Germany, and invited BMW to invest in electric vehicle manufacture in Indonesia. Indonesia is buoyant about emerging as a major producer of electric vehicles (EV) owing to quite abundant raw materials to produce lithium batteries, the main component of EV manufacturing.
To expedite the materialization of the EV industry and attract investors, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had signed Presidential Regulation No. 55 of 2019 on the acceleration of battery-operated vehicles for road transportation in early August 2019.