JAKARTA • President Joko Widodo has said he wants public and private transportation in Indonesia's new capital city to be the first in the world that uses only autonomous and electric vehicles (EVs).
"Mass transportation will be autonomous there. Private cars will also be autonomous or electric," Mr Joko, who is popularly known as Jokowi, said on Wednesday in his opening remarks at a meeting of the Indonesian Young Entrepreneurs Association.
"We can be the first capital city with mass and private transportation using autonomous and electric (vehicles)."
The plan is in line with the government's vision of promoting electric vehicles, which are considered cleaner as they do not use fossil fuels, with a greater goal of reducing the country's carbon emissions while promoting domestic battery production.
Indonesia is rich in cobalt and manganese, the main components for making EV batteries.
The government will be moving Indonesia's capital city from Jakarta to a now forested area in North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara regencies in East Kalimantan by the end of Mr Joko's second term in 2024. The project is expected to cost 466 trillion rupiah (S$46 billion).
Mr Joko has repeatedly said that he wants the new capital to be a smart and green city.
The Public Works and Housing Ministry had previously selected a development design from design studio URBAN+ - "Nagara Rimba Nusa" - which met the criteria of submitting an eco-friendly design that depicts Indonesia as a forward-thinking and futuristic civilisation.
The construction of government buildings and facilities will be fully funded by the state budget while other development projects are expected to be funded by the private sector as well as investors, according to Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan.
THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK