Jakarta. Pulp and paper manufacturer, APRIL Group, through its operating arm PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper, or PT RAPP, will operate two electric buses in its Riau facility. The buses are produced by the homegrown automotive firm Mobil Anak Bangsa in a bid to slash carbon emissions and to become climate positive.
On Tuesday, the paper company received the 12-meter-long MD 12E NF bus in a symbolic handover between RAPP President Director, Sihol Aritonang and MAB founder Moeldoko in Jakarta.
"Covid-19 has caused major disruptions to lifestyle and mobility. Business actors tend to take a wait-and-see approach while keeping an eye on the market. But for APRIL, sustainability cannot wait. APRIL Group is committed to become the champion in sustainability,” Sihol said in his opening remarks.
According to Sihol, the electric bus purchase aligns with APRIL2030 — the company’s four-pillared blueprint on sustainability.
“[The electric bus] demonstrates [our] concrete action in utilizing renewable energy and lowering carbon emission. We also want to take part in government’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 29 percent on its own efforts and by 41 percent with international support by 2030,” Sihol said.
The bus will soon make its way to Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau. Sihol said it would become Riau's first electric buses. APRIL Group has also built a charging station, which will undergo trial runs over the next few days.
“MAB will later inspect the charging station. They will also provide operation and maintenance training to our team,” he added.
The Transportation Ministry has designed a national roadmap on electric vehicle transition.
"All public transportations will inevitably shift. And in response to the roadmap, RAPP has placed itself in the front row," Moeldoko, who also serves as the Presidential Chief of Staff, said.
A Closer Look
The Jakarta Globe had the opportunity to take a closer look at RAPP's electric bus.
The MD 12E NF Type is spacious enough to carry 53 passengers. On the back of every seat is a sign that reminds passengers to fasten their safety belts.
The bus runs on a water-cooled LifePO battery and takes about 3 hours to charge.
"The battery capacity stands at 315.85 kWh and 519 Ah. The [bus] uses the permanent magnet synchronous motor. Its power is about 130 kW on rated, and 240 kW at peak. [...] It is also equipped with air suspension,” Kelik Irwantono, MAB President Director, said.
A day prior to the symbolic handover, PT RAPP had conducted a factory acceptance test on the bus. Its production took place at MAB's carrosserie producer Karoseri Anak Bangsa in Demak, Central Java.
Why Electric Buses?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently reported the world would likely pass the 1.5 degrees celsius of warming in the next two decades. The 2020 Climate Transparency Report revealed the transport sector accounted for 27 percent of the emissions in Indonesia.
Meanwhile, electric vehicles are now getting more attention as a solution to climate change. In 2019, the Indonesian government also issued a regulation on accelerating battery electric vehicles adoption in the country.
According to Darmawan Prasodjo, the deputy director at the state-owned utility firm PLN, electric vehicles — be it motorbikes or cars— are more efficient and environmentally friendly than conventional vehicles.
A liter of gasoline costs Rp 9,000 ($0.63), whilst 1 kWh of electricity costs about Rp 1,500. Both a liter of gasoline and 1 kWh of electricity can travel for 10 km. Driving a conventional gasoline car for 10 km can produce 2.4 kg of CO2 emissions. Whereas the emission for an electric vehicle traveling for 10 km is 850 grams, and the produced emissions come from the PLN plants, Darmawan said in a recent statement.