INDONESIA LAUNCHES LOCALLY DEVELOPED ELECTRIC BUS
Demonstrating its commitment to the development of green technology, the Research and Technology Ministry launched recently an electric bus prototype. Research and Technology Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta said that the government was presently promoting the development of electric cars with the well-known benefits such as being energy efficient, environmentally friendly, producers of low emission and having low operational costs.
The launch marked the opening of the 17th National Technology Awakening Day (Hakteknas) Information Center. Researchers from the Indonesian Academy of Sciences’ (LIPI) Mechatronics and Electric Power Research Center came out with a prototype that is able to carry 17 passengers with a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour. A fully charged 500-Ampere LifeP04 lithium battery can power the bus for a distance of some 150 kilometers. Using the battery, researchers claim the bus will reduce operational costs by some 50 percent and maintenance costs by some 70 percent.
The fact that the battery is still imported, however, will place a heavier burden on manufacturing costs once the bus is mass-produced. Each electric bus costs some Rp 1.2 billion (US$127,200). “The national electric bus is ready to use on roads but is not yet ready for wide commercialization as we need more investment for mass production,” said Abdul Hafid, a transportation researcher with LIPI.