Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan is a strong proponent of the view that the time has come for Indonesia to produce electric cars since several supporting materials exist in the country.

Some 70-80 percent of the components to produce lithium battery required for electric cars had been available in Indonesia, the minister remarked while speaking at the Indonesia Electric Motor Show (IEMS) 2019 held here on Wednesday.

Panjaitan noted that several investors were keen to develop plants for the production of components for electric cars.

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There is a pressing need to switch to electric cars, which are environment-friendly, from vehicles powered by fossil fuels that are major contributors to air pollution in the country and Jakarta, in particular.

While speaking on the same occasion, Chief of the Presidential Staff retired general Moeldoko affirmed that electric cars can assist in lowering oil and gas imports and bringing about an improvement in the air quality.

Furthermore, electric cars will help strengthen state electricity company PT PLN’s position, as several electric cars will need to refill batteries with electricity from PLN.

Electric cars are yet expensive, but following their mass production, they would become affordable to the public.

Related news: Jakarta should use electric cars to improve air quality: Jokowi

In the meantime, Research, Technology, and Higher Education Minister M. Nasir opined that air pollution in Indonesia’s major cities will reduce with the use of electric cars.

Indonesia has low-grade nickel of 0.8-1.5 percent, or known as limonite, viewed as the best material for the production of lithium ion battery.

The ministry's Director General for Mineral and Coal Bambang Gatot recently noted that the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry had drafted a ministerial regulation on a ban on nickel ore exports.

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Translator: M Razi Rahman, Fardah
Editor: Azizah Fitriyanti
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