Learning between cities
The ASEAN Network enabled research and development partnerships between Singapore, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur on developing electric bus networks, rooftop solar at bus depots, and maintenance of the infrastructure. The cities hosted 1:1 meetings and webinars covering respective parts of their energy transitions, sharing key learnings such as their approach to electric charging in the transport network, and managing grid capacity during peak times in dry and rainy seasons.
Both Jakarta and Singapore grappled with the decision to offer only overnight charging, or to combine overnight charging with opportunity charging. Opportunity charging is a charging strategy where charging points are installed at the end of a bus service, and battery power is topped up before operating the service in reverse. It typically uses fast charging units (rated above 150kW). The outcome for each city was different – Singapore focused more on procurement of fast chargers for opportunity charging, Jakarta for overnight charging. The criteria they used is listed in the C40 Cities Finance Facility guide below.
Jakarta started developing best practice guidelines for both international and national audiences beyond the ASEAN Smart Cities Network. With the help of the C40 Cities Finance Facility, the city produced Zero-Emission Bus Charging Systems: Insights from Jakarta. The C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF) is disseminating this work through peer-to-peer exchanges, city-led learning and training events. By 2025, the CFF is expected to leverage USD 1 billion in climate finance and cut over 2.5 million tonnes of GHG emissions in 30 cities throughout the globe.
Jakarta also started to transfer knowledge developed via ASCN to their domestic smart cities network. These insights proved valuable to the national government in Indonesia because the country has many nickel deposits, and are considering restricting foreign access to the mineral to preserve domestic EV battery production. Jakarta influenced national policy on the charging of electric bus fleets through meetings with civil servants drafting the national energy transition masterplan for Indonesia.
The C40 Cities Finance Facility guide found that:
- Cities need to analyse bus technology and the necessary charging methods as a whole. It is not always the case that smaller batteries are needed for shorter routes while larger batteries are needed for longer ones. In Jakarta, they found there was a large effect of travel demand between the end of routes and depots – often over 20km.
- It may be simpler for operators to assess deployment and assure accurate, high-quality data for analysis and decision-making if a strategy involves replacing all buses on a specific route with zero-emission vehicles, rather than spreading out the replacement across numerous routes. In Jakarta, this was done on the 1P and 1R routes in Senen.
- To create the best charging strategy, it is important to analyse the relationship between operational needs, such as cooling demand, loading, distance, and battery range. In Jakarta, even the longest routes needed more than the largest battery size, meaning smaller sizes with both overnight and opportunity charging were more cost-effective.
- The local grid capacity as well as capacity upgrades must be taken into account when deciding on the optimal charging infrastructure and schemes. In Jakarta, opportunity chargers enable energy demand to be distributed between different local grids instead of a costly upgrade to cope with high demand for only overnight charging.
- In order to lower energy costs, bus terminals are frequently the perfect place to install distributed renewable energy generation, such as rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. In Jakarta, this both lowers the costs of operational energy and capacity upgrades.