Challenges remain for hydrogen car commercialization in Indonesia


(Photo: Indonesia Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources)

Hydrogen-powered vehicles are just starting to emerge in Indonesia, with various stakeholders actively establishing their own ecosystems. However, the Indonesian Automotive Industry (GAIKINDO) assesses that these vehicles are not ready for widespread commercialization in the country, unlike electric vehicles, due to the high costs associated with the technology.

In accordance with the acceleration of the achievement of net zero emissions target, the Indonesian government has been developing infrastructure to support the use of renewable energy, including the hydrogen infrastructure. This February, the state-owned electricity company, PT PLN Indonesia Power (IP), inaugurated the first hydrogen refuelling station (HRS) in Indonesia. This initiative marks a significant step toward promoting the adoption of hydrogen-based vehicles and advancing the country’s sustainable energy transition.

Chairman of Gaikindo, Yohanes Nangoi, stated that while the hydrogen technology is very clean in terms of emissions, it is still far more expensive than electric vehicles. This is especially challenging given the current purchasing power of the Indonesian population, which ranges only from 200-300 million rupiah (about 12.5-18.8 thousand USD).

He also emphasized the importance of balancing the readiness of infrastructures with the purchasing power of the community to effectively implement the hydrogen vehicle ecosystem. “It is not about being unprepared; perhaps certain individuals are ready to buy, but only few of them,” he explained.

Earlier this year, Indonesia Oil and Gas company’s subsidiary, Pertamina New and Renewable Energy, has collaborated with Toyota to develop hydrogen fuel in Indonesia. This collaboration is outlined in a Joint Development Agreement in which both parties not only agreed to build infrastructure, but also to work together to ensure the demand for hydrogen fuel consumption.

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