Indonesian ride-hailing giant Gojek to completely switch to electric vehicles by 2030

Photo by Afif Kusuma on Unsplash

Indonesian ride-hailing startup Gojek plans to make every car and motorcycle on its platform an electric vehicle (EV) by 2030 through partnerships with manufacturers and favourable leasing arrangements, co-Chief Executive Kevin Aluwi told Reuters.

Gojek announced the plan on Friday under a zero-emission pledge laid out in its first annual sustainability report, which analysts widely regard as a move aimed at bringing the company closer to a public listing.

However, analysts expect the cost of going electric in Indonesia to be high due to the need for related infrastructure in a country which only has around 100 charging stations.

“Our target is to work with various different players within the industry and government to reduce the cost of EVs to about 30% lower than internal combustion engine vehicles,” prioritising Gojek’s home market, Aluwi said in an interview ahead of the report’s release.

The Jakarta-based firm is in talks to support development of Indonesia’s EV industry, including how to build infrastructure such as battery swap and charging stations, he said.

Gojek, which also offers food delivery and payment services, says it has over 2 million drivers across Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore, and is backed by big-name investors including Alphabet Inc’s Google and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Aluwi, who co-founded Gojek in 2011, said the firm has EV pilot programmes in Indonesia with state energy firms Pertamina and Perusahaan Listrik Negara, scooter makers Gesits, Viar, NIU Technologies and Honda Motor Co Ltd, plus automakers Toyota Motor Corp and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

The main concerns for drivers switching to EVs involved power and infrastructure as well as cost, Aluwi said. To help with financing, Gojek is exploring leasing arrangements, potentially through its financial services arm, he said.

“We do know that the building of this electric vehicle ecosystem from raw materials to battery production to vehicle production is something that many in the government see as a big part of the future in Indonesia,” Aluwi said.

The world’s fourth-most populous country has grappled with choking air pollution in cities, with traffic-clogged capital Jakarta consistently ranked among the region’s most polluted.

Indonesia aims to start processing its rich supplies of nickel laterite ore for use in lithium batteries as part of a long-term goal of becoming a global EV hub.

Gojek’s sustainability chief, Tanah Sullivan, said the firm has also launched programmes to reduce single-use plastic in food delivery to help achieve its zero waste and zero emission goals by 2030.

Regional rival Grab pledged in December to have 26,000 EVs in Indonesia by 2025.

“Gojek and Grab’s driver base is quite big. This should help to reach economies of scale for electric motorcycle development and sales,” said Septian Hario Seto, deputy head of investment and mining coordination at the coordinating ministry of maritime and investment.

The government is helping Gojek in talks with Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) to supply EV batteries, Septian said.

Reuters reported in April, citing sources, that Gojek and Indonesian e-commerce platform Tokopedia are close to finalising an $18 billion merger that would see them list both in Jakarta in 2021 and in the United States at a valuation of $35 billion to $40 billion dollars.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.