Jakarta – The Indonesian government is aiming to convert 50,000 motorcycles that run on fuel to electric ones this year, as part of its drive to spur the mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the country.
The scheme, a government official from the Mineral Resources Ministry said, could help Indonesia reduce its reliance on fuel oil imports.
"The motorcycle conversion initiative aims not only to support the EV ecosystem but also cut down our fuel oil imports," Mr Dadan Kusdiana, director general for renewable energy at the Mineral Resources Ministry, was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Globe on Tuesday (Apr 4).
Statistics by the ministry reportedly showed that in 2021, Indonesia imported 22.09 million kilolitres of fuel. This was an increase from the 20.87 million kilolitres of fuel imported the year before.
Mr Dadan pointed out that the electric motorcycle conversion scheme would allow fuel imports into Indonesia to be reduced by 20,000 kilolitres and save the government US$10 million on foreign exchange.
He added that the authorities will also be able to save up to 18.6 billion rupiah (US$1.2 million) from subsidised fuel compensation with the conversion of the 50,000 fuel-run motorcycles to electric ones.
Mr Dadan stressed that the conversion scheme would help motorcyclists reduce their spending on fuel, particularly on Pertalite (RON 90 gasoline).
"The benefit that can be felt by the owner of a motorcycle from this program, (based on) the calculation of the Pertalite figure last month, (is) 2.77 million rupiah per year per motorcycle," said Mr Dadan, as quoted by VOI.
Pertalite fuel oil is a grade of gasoline sold by state oil and gas firm Pertamina. It is the most affordable state-subsidised vehicle fuel.
Mr Dadan expressed hope that the government would be able to convert more fuel-run motorcycles to electric ones in the coming year.
"The target recipients of the government assistance in 2023 are 50,000 units and next year... we will increase it to 150,000 units," he was quoted as saying by VOI in a conference.
Last month, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said that 7 trillion rupiah in state funds will be set aside for subsidies on electric motorcycles.
According to Reuters, Mdm Mulyani said that the subsidies will cover the sale of 800,000 new electric motorcycles as well as the conversion of 200,000 combustion engine motorcycles.
A day later, the Indonesian government announced a 7 million rupiah subsidy for the purchase of electric motorcycles to selected groups of people.
"To accelerate the formation of the electric vehicle ecosystem, the government has issued a policy of providing assistance for the purchase of two-wheeled electric vehicles which comes into effect from Mar 20, 2023," said Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita.
According to the Jakarta Globe, Indonesia aims to have 13 million electric motorcycles on its roads by 2030. As of October last year, there were some 32,000 electric motorcycles on Indonesia's roads, according to local media reports. – Agencies/ya(as)