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President Jokowi optimistic about electric cars in Indonesia

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, April 20, 2018  /  10:26 am
President Jokowi optimistic about electric cars in Indonesia

President Joko Widodo (right) is accompanied by Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto (left) at the Elders Company pavilion at the Indonesia International Motor Show 2018 on April 19. (IIMS/File)

Automotive industry players held their breath as President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo elaborated on the consequences of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), including the transition to electric cars, for the industry.

“I was informed that the amount of automotive components in an electric car is only one-tenth of the [common] car that we currently use,” Jokowi said during the opening ceremony of the Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS) 2018 at JIEXpo Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, on April 19. “Meaning that, if tomorrow all cars in Indonesia are replaced with the electric ones, the automotive industry would shrink up to 90 percent.”

The President then continued that the electric cars might require less maintenance compared to the conventional ones as their engines were simpler.

President Joko Widodo visits the Honda pavilion at the 2018 Indonesia International Motor Show at JIEXpo Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, on April 19.President Joko Widodo visits the Honda pavilion at the 2018 Indonesia International Motor Show at JIEXpo Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, on April 19. (JP/Steven)

Realizing that the audiences had been very quiet, Jokowi smiled, “Those are the predictions and I don’t believe in them.”

“I believe, with Industry 4, growth in the automotive sector will improve and not decline,” Jokowi said. “And the workforce needed in automotive and car transportation sectors will increase. Will there be changes in the type of jobs? Yes. Will they move to more extraordinary types of jobs? Yes.”

Jokowi also reminisced about Making Indonesia 4.0. Launched several weeks ago by the Industry Ministry, it was the government's response toward Industry 4.0 that focuses on five manufacturing industries, one of them automotive.

Read also: IIMS 2018 opens with 38 featured carmakers

On the same occasion, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto highlighted the ministry’s road map that aimed for a minimum of 20 percent of vehicles in Indonesia to comprise electric vehicles by 2025. He further added that Indonesia had the potential to produce batteries for electric vehicles.

“We have pure nickel and cobalt production and future battery technology will use those materials,” said Airlangga. “Hopefully Indonesia will be able to make use of this.”

Meanwhile, regarding the use of technology, Liliek Oetama, commissioner of PT Dyandra Media International and CEO of Kompas Gramedia, said this year’s IIMS had implemented innovations for visitors, including in the ticketing system.

Looking stylish: President Joko Widodo wears a denim jacket with a map of Indonesia emblazoned across the chest. Looking stylish: President Joko Widodo wears a denim jacket with a map of Indonesia emblazoned across the chest. (JP/Steven)

“We don’t use a conventional ticketing system anymore. We’ve transitioned to a digital system by using a wristband,” Liliek said. “Therefore, our visitors’ profile can be known.”

Moreover, a test drive area and charging stations for electric cars will be provided.

Following the opening ceremony, Jokowi, who was wearing a denim jacket with a map of Indonesia emblazoned on the chest area , also toured the exhibition by visiting some pavilions, among them Honda, DFSK, Mitsubishi, Kiat Mahesa Wintor and three electric vehicles designed by Indonesian college students.

IIMS 2018 is slated to be held for 11 days from April 19 to 29. It aims to attract 525,000 visitors with estimated total transactions of Rp 3.3 trillion (US$ 238,848,893). The exhibition features 38 automotive brands and more than 350 companies. (mut)

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