Officials in Bali have celebrated the 2022 National Transportation Day by welcoming a fleet of electric buses. The buses will be used by delegations of the G20 Summit that will be held on 15th and 16th November. The buses have been made in Indonesia, and the island’s officials proudly unveiled the vehicles to the media.
The launch event involved the unveiling of the buses and a test drive. Drivers from the new service drove the buses around the Bali Provincial Transportation Service offices, much to their delight. The event was accompanied by speeches and lectures from university professors on the benefits of renewable energy and electric vehicles.
Department leader from Gadjah Mada University, Eka Firmansyah, told the press ‘The advantage of this electric bus is that it is designed with energy sourced from batteries…Of course, this is clearly different from conventional buses that take diesel energy and are driven by a combustion motor’. Firmansyah, who also worked on the design of the buses explained that the teams were keen to ensure passenger comfort.
The buses have been designed with comfortable seats and air conditioning. The buses make minimal noise and minimal emissions. According to Firmansyah, the passenger experience is smooth and quiet. Firmansyah explained in greater detail the benefits of this new fleet of vehicles and hoped that, with time, the service would be available across Bali for locals and visitors alike.
Firmansyah said, ‘For a single charge, it is estimated that it will consume 120 kWh in a period of 1.5 hours. With a power of 120 kWh, the bus can be used to cover a distance of 160 km’. Not only were the buses constructed in Indonesia, but over 75% of the components were produced in the country too. Firmansyah explained that Indonesia must establish further improvements to supply chain infrastructure if the country can support the production of electric vehicles long term.
A total of 30 buses have been delivered to Bali ahead of the G20 Summit. It is believed that they will remain on the island for public use after the event. These vehicles are being used alongside a fleet of electric Hyundai Genesis cars that will be used to chauffeur VIP guests during the conference.
Bali’s new electric buses are not the island’s first eco-friendly public transport. The Green School in Badung has created the Bio-Bus that runs off waste cooking oil. The school takes the old cooking oil and turns it into biodiesel to run the school’s three buses for students and the community. Other local inventors have created mopeds and tuk-tuks that run on biofuel or solar. Bali is undoubtedly an island of innovation, and the government is demonstrating a commitment to a transition to renewable energy.
In recent weeks Governor Wayan Koster has launched a program to roll out electric mopeds across the island. He hopes the initiative will appeal to young people looking for an affordable and more environmentally friendly transportation option.
Bali’s transportation department has confirmed that they are conducting a feasibility study to explore the potential benefits of an electric train service from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport to tourism hotspots like Seminyak, Sanur, and Benoa. Officials stated that a final decision would be announced in 2023.
In other transportation and development news, construction has formally started on the Jagat Kerthi Bali Toll Road. The road will connect Gilimanuk-Mengwi and span over 96km of western and central Bali. Ministers and Governor Koster have urged construction teams to stick to the schedule and to ensure the project is delivered on time. They have plans for the whole toll road to be completed by 2025.
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