Ministry introduces electric bus to promote green technology
Demonstrating its commitment to promoting green technology, the Research and Technology Ministry on Tuesday launched an electric bus prototype that is hoped will reduce fossil fuel consumption.
Running on electricity, the bus will be efficient and environmentally friendly as it works without consuming fuel.
Unable to conceal his excitement over the newly-developed electric bus prototype, Research and Technology Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta invited journalists to take part in Tuesday’s fun drive.
“It’s going to build great momentum for developing electric vehicles as we haven’t seen an influx of imported electric vehicles in the country,” he told journalists during the launch of the national electric bus in the Assessment and Application of Technology Agency (BPPT) II Building on Tuesday.
He said the government was currently promoting the development of electric cars because they were known to have some benefits including energy efficiency, being environmentally-friendly, producing no emissions and having low operational costs.
“We have continued to pursue the development of electric cars, although at the first stage, we will just produce a limited number based on orders, particularly for government official vehicles. I hope this shows our support of the number of accomplishments our scientists and engineers have obtained in developing electric car-prototypes since 1995,” said Gusti.
The launch of the bright red-colored electric bus marked the opening of the 17th National Technology Awakening Day (Hakteknas) Information Center.
The 17th Hakteknas, themed “Innovation for the Nation’s Independence”, will be centered in Bandung, West Java, from Aug. 8 to 11, 2012. During the celebration, various events will take place including the 2012 Ritech Expo at Sabuga, Triple Helix Conference at Grand Royal Panghegar Hotel, and a research and technology carnival. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will attend the official celebration of the 17th Hakteknas held at the Merdeka Building.
During the recent Rio+20 Earth Summit, along with other countries participating in the major United Nations (UN) conference on sustainable development, Indonesia shared the position that environmentally-sound technology, research and development, as well as innovations, play a key role in supporting green economies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.
“In this regard, we need to strengthen our scientific and technological capacities for sustainable development,” said Wendy Aritenang, a transportation expert from the Transportation Ministry.
The electric bus built by researchers from the Indonesian Research and Science Institute’s Mechatronics and Electric Power Research Center can carry 17 passengers with a maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour. Once the vehicle’s 500 ampere battery is fully charged, it is able to go for about 150 kilometers.
Using a LifeP04 lithium battery, this electric bus can reduce operational costs by about 50 percent and maintenance costs by about 70 percent. The center finds that the imported-lithium battery is one of the challenges to mass manufacturing the electric cars as it places a heavier burden on production costs.