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Mitsubishi signs EV initiative in Indonesia

Mitsubishi's Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi Motors has signed an MoU with the Indonesian Government to expand use and availability of EVs

Japan’s Mitsubishi has signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indonesian government, in  support of the latter’s aim to encourage the development of EVs and reduce CO2 emissions.

Measures covered under the MoU will include the Government exploring the potential for new policies and incentive programs to encourage drivers and manufacturers to adopt electric vehicles. Both the Indonesian Government and Mitsubishi will also work together to conduct a joint study to examine the efficient usage of electric vehicles in Indonesia, they said.

In the meantime, Mitsubishi will provide 10 EVs and four charging units to the Indonesian Ministry of Industry (MOI) and a range of other organisations, including national universities and research institutes.

Osamu Masuko, Mitsubishi Motors’ Chief Executive, said: “This Memorandum of Understanding is a vote of confidence by the Indonesian Government in the electric technologies of Mitsubishi Motors. At the same time, this announcement demonstrates the importance that Mitsubishi Motors places on Indonesia in our plans for future growth.”

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The country has a healthy automotive industry, which in 2015 held the highest market share of production in the region, at around 35%, owing mainly to production facilities operated by Japanese and South Korean firms. In light of the move towards electrification, the government seems keen to keep up.

However, while it may have ambitious plans for EV use, Indonesia must also tackle its power supply problems before it stands a chance of electrifying its transport network. Although electricity access has improved dramatically over the past decade – in 2014 it reached 84% of the population, according to the EIA – and has risen to 92.8% in 2017, it still struggles with supply. In addition, the final 10% or so of the population are also the most remote and most difficult to connect.

Meanwhile, capacity addition has not kept pace with demand growth, meaning power shortages are still an issue – not ideal if the government intends to add EVs into the mix.

In that regard, its support of EVs is a welcome effort to decarbonise, and to be forward-thinking in its transport options. However, without further investment in electricity supply and infrastructure, those efforts are unlikely to have considerable a effect.

Given its automotive links however, Indonesia is well positioned to embrace EV production, and ElecTrans expects to see further co-operation agreements such as Mitsubishi’s signed by Japanese and South Korean firms in the coming years.

 

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