TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan believes now is the time to harness momentum to develop electric vehicles in Indonesia though firstly partnering with other nations advanced in the non-fossil fuel industry.
"I am among the most insistent to develop national electric vehicles. This is since we do not want to continue to be a market for imported vehicles, let alone, electric vehicle technology is relatively easier to develop, and Indonesia has the world's largest resources of nickel as raw material for making batteries," he stated while addressing a webinar on investments in the production of electric vehicles and supporting infrastructure here on Saturday.
The government has issued several regulations to serve as legal umbrellas for development of the electric vehicle industry, including Presidential Decree Number 55 of 2019 on Acceleration of the Battery Electric Vehicle Program for Road Transportation.
To develop electric vehicles, Indonesia is keen to partner with several countries, including China, whose industrial technology is already quite advanced and almost dominates the global electric vehicle market.
Based on the planned partnership, Indonesia is optimistic of a transfer of technology in future, so that Indonesian experts can later manufacture electric vehicles, he remarked.
"To this end, Indonesia has sent several experts from various leading universities to China to study about electric vehicles. We will learn about its success and the mistakes committed," he added.
Special Advisor for Policy on Innovation and Industrial Competitiveness of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment Satryo Soemantri remarked that Indonesia is deemed ready to become a producer of electric vehicles.
The country has huge reserves of nickel and cobalt, which are raw materials to produce lithium battery as the main component of electric vehicles.
"Of course, we do not want to remain a vehicle importer all the time. Hence, we have to be able to produce electric vehicles. From a technological perspective, Indonesia can actually master it," Soemantri stated.
The government has also encouraged private companies importing electric vehicles to immediately build an electric vehicle factory in Indonesia by cooperating with foreign firms.
At the initial stage, Indonesia will strive to develop battery-based electric motorized vehicles and industry producing lithium batteries as the main component of electric vehicles.
"Development of vehicles and batteries must run in parallel and simultaneously," he stated.