Japan, Indonesia collaborate in testing e-bike, battery base operation

30, Aug. 2019

Indonesia's Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto poses with e-scooter batteries at a launch event for an experimental trial of e-bike and battery station operation in Jakarta on Aug. 28.
Indonesia's Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto poses with e-scooter batteries at a launch event for an experimental trial of e-bike and battery station operation in Jakarta on Aug. 28.

JAKARTA, NNA – Japan and Indonesia have joined hands to test electric scooter and battery station operation in Southeast Asia’s largest motorcycle market in a bid to address worsening air pollution and reduce the fiscal burden stemming from fuel subsidies for motor vehicles.

The private and public sectors of the two nations officially launched an e-scooter leasing service on a trial basis Wednesday in two major Indonesian cities, Bandung and Denpasar, said the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, the Tokyo-backed energy solution technology body known as NEDO.

In the experimental trial until the end of next year, PT HPP Energy Indonesia, a Japanese joint venture, aims to deploy 300 e-bikes with about 1,000 batteries at 40 stations in total in the two cities, said Yusuke Goto, vice president director of the local venture at a launch event in Jakarta.

NEDO signed for the joint project with Indonesia’s Ministry of Industry last December, joined by HPP Energy, which was set up last year by the world’s largest motorcycle maker Honda Motor Co., Japanese electronics giant Panasonic Corp., and Pacific Consultants Co., a Tokyo-based infrastructure and engineering consulting firm, according to NEDO’s statement.

Honda provides the PCX Electric scooter and Honda Mobile Power Pack battery and charging box. Panasonic offers Japanese-made lithium ion batteries, according to officials from the three parties involved with the joint venture.

Through a designated website, users can book and ride the e-bike and swap batteries at stations, cutting time by stopping at the bases rather than refilling fuel for motor vehicles at gas stations. Mileage per full charge is up to 41 kilometers, according to Honda.

The trial project is aimed at collecting data on frequency in the use of e-mobility and battery charging and promoting e-mobility in a country with over 100 million registered motorcycles.

In Bandung in West Java Province, the local venture began e-bike leasing at a monthly cost of 1.15 rupiah ($80) early this month and will launch its leasing to corporate clients in Denpasar on Bali Island within this year, according to HPP.

Other local partners include PT. Astra Otoparts, an automotive and motorcycle parts seller and maintenance service provider, PT Sumber Alfaria Trijaya, the operator of major convenience store chain Alfamart, Bandung Institute of Technology and the University of Indonesia, Goto told reporters.

The total project cost is about 2 billion yen ($18.8 million), 50 percent of which is funded by NEDO, a NEDO official based in Tokyo said.

The experimental trial could provide an analysis of the effectiveness of EV technology and battery sharing in terms of performance, target users and social impact, said Harjanto, director-general of Metal, Machine, Transportation and Electronics at the Ministry of Industry.