Indonesia project to convert fuel-powered motorbikes to electric

Indonesia project to convert fuel-powered motorbikes to electric

FILE PHOTO: Motorbike taxi drivers drive with backpack-style plastic partitions on to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 10, 2020, (Antara Foto/Galih Pradipta/via Reuters)
FILE PHOTO: Motorbike taxi drivers drive with backpack-style plastic partitions on to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 10, 2020, (Antara Foto/Galih Pradipta/via Reuters)

JAKARTA: Indonesia on Wednesday launched a pilot project to convert motorcycles that run on combustion engines into electric-powered vehicles, part of a national drive to make transport more environmentally friendly, the energy ministry said.

The project has successfully converted 10 such motorbikes and is aiming to convert 90 more by November, the ministry said in a statement.

Under its national strategy, the government has set a target of having 13 million electric motorbikes - including converted ones - and 2.2 million electric cars on the roads by 2030.

It has also pledged to stop all sales of vehicles powered by combustion engines by 2050.

Indonesia had more than 15 million cars and 112 million motorcycles on its roads as of 2019, data from Indonesia's automotive industries association showed.

"To create economies of scale, we have to create a market," Energy Minister Arifin Tasrif said during the launch, calling for the conversion technology to be developed at the small and medium-sized business levels.

The government is also working on converting public buses that use fossil fuel into electric buses, a transport ministry official told the same event.

Indonesia, which has the biggest economy in Southeast Asia, is one of the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters.

The country also has ambitious plans of becoming a global hub for production of batteries and electric vehicles, to take advantage of its rich supplies of nickel laterite ore used in lithium batteries.

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