The Jakarta Post
Blue Bird's Tesla Model X 75D A/T for its high-end Silver Bird service launched at Blue Bird's head office in South Jakarta on April 22. (JP/Seto Wardhana)
Blue Bird launched its first electric taxi (e-taxi) at Blue Bird Group’s head office in South Jakarta to mark Earth Day on April 22.
Set to serve passengers in May, the e-taxis comprise 25 BYD e6 A/T for Bluebird and five Tesla Model X 75D A/T for its high-end Silverbird services, respectively.
“Both electric cars were tested [for quality] abroad and they have been used as public transportation [as well],” said Blue Bird director Adrianto Djokosoetono at the launch. He added that the company had invested less than Rp 40 billion ($2,843,540) for the first 30 electric vehicles and supporting infrastructure. “As a company, we have to be brave in starting and trying [using e-taxi], hence we understand the obstacles and we can give suggestions to the government about licenses, budget and charging stations.”
Interior of Blue Bird's Tesla Model X 75D A/T for its high-end Silver Bird service. (JP/Seto Wardhana)
For now, the e-taxis can only be charged at electric vehicle charging stations at Blue Bird’s head office. The company has installed 11 charging stations and plans to add two to three more in front of the building, which will be open to the public. The e-taxis take one to two hours to fully charge with mileage of 340 to 400 kilometers. Adrianto said it was more than enough to operate daily in Greater Jakarta.
A driver plugs in a Blue Bird e-taxi during the debut of the company's e-taxis in Jakarta on April 22. (JP/Seto Wardhana)
“We’re certain that we have the competency to maintain the electric cars. We have the facilities, specially-trained mechanics. […] We placed the charging stations here, therefore we can supervise them and ensure they follow safety and security standards,” said Adrianto.
Meanwhile, Blue Bird driver Achmad Mukti said the company had selected drivers to operate the e-taxis. “But we have to return to the vehicles to the charging station if the car’s power is at 25 percent,” said Achmad, who has worked at the company for six years.
The e-taxi’s fare is said to be similar to existing ones. A regular Bluebird taxi, for instance, has flag-fall rate of Rp 6,500 (46 US cents) and Rp 4,100 (29 US cents) per km.
The launch of Blue Bird's e-taxis is attended by ( left to right) the company's president director Noni Purnomo, Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi and Blue Bird director Andrianto Djokosoetono in Jakarta on April 22. (JP/Seto Wardhana)
Furthermore, the company believes that its e-taxis will be able to lower fuel usage and gas emissions.
Though Blue Bird only has 30 electric taxis for now, the company aims to operate 200 e-taxis by 2020, aiming to eliminate 434,095 kilograms of CO2emissions or 1.89 million liters of fuel consumption. Furthermore, by adding 2,000 e-taxis from 2020 to 2025, the amount is expected to reduce 21,704,760 kg of CO2emissions, equal to 94.90 million liters of fuel consumption. (mut)