Indonesian taxi operator Blue Bird launches its first electric taxi fleet

It contains Chinese-made BYDs and US-made Teslas

Indonesia’s biggest taxi operator, Blue Bird introduced its first electric vehicle (EV) taxi feet that will start operating in May 2019.

It consists only of 30 units for now, but the firm targets to get to 200 EVs by 2020. Of the 30, 25 units, to be used in Blue Bird’s regular taxi service, are Chinese-made BYD e6 A/T cars. The five remaining ones are Tesla Model X 75D  A/T cars, to be used for the premium taxi service Silverbird.

The company is proud to pioneer electric vehicles in the Indonesian transportation industry, said Blue Bird’s president director Noni Pramono at a launch event in Jakarta, according to local media.

Blue Bird said it invested IDR 40 billion (USD 2.8 million) to procure the EVs and build infrastructure for twelve charging stations.

The launch event was also attended by the Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs, Luhut Pandjaitan, who added that the government through the State Electricity Company (PLN) will build out public charging stations throughout Indonesia. Currently, PLN has built around 1,600 charging stations in Greater Jakarta and plans to have 2,000 stations by the end of the year.

Blue Bird’s e-taxi fleet precedes Grab’s plans to bring e-vehicles to Indonesia. In February, Grab’s CEO Anthony Tan met with Minister Pandjaitan to discuss Grab’s investment plan for EVs in the country. Grab is currently in the process of introducing 200 units, specifically Hyundai Kona 64 kWH electric cars, in Singapore.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad