Indonesia’s Very Own Hybrid Car(s)

Posted on March 25th, 2010 at 8:48 am by Akhyari


By Angka Mustafa (Thanks for sharing, bro!)

The Indonesian Institute of Sciences debuted the first Indonesian-built gas-electric hybrid car, which it claimed uses significantly less gasoline than other green automobiles.

The car’s engine was developed by Bandung-based Mekatronic and Electric Power Research Center (Telimek), a division of the institute, which is also known as LIPI.

It is said that the hybrid uses both electric power and gasoline. The fossil fuel is only used to power a generator that supplies electric power to the car should it run out of batteries.

The LIPI hybrid car is completely different from other hybrid engines because others usually use more than one activator system to run the car while ours solely uses electric power to run the car.

Many commercially available hybrids have a gas and an electric motor that both supply power to the transmission, which then turns the wheels.

For each kilometer traveled, a conventional engine car costs approximately 6 cents, while this hybrid engine needs less than half of that: 2.3 cents per kilometer.

Efficiency is calculated using the assumption that one kilowatt is worth Rp 1,000. One kilowatt of energy can run a hybrid car for 4.5 kilometers. By comparison, a car with a conventional engine is expected to use one liter of gasoline to travel an eight-kilometer distance.

The engine built by LIPI can produce around 43 horsepower, allowing the car to travel as fast as 70 kilometers per hour. For now, the car is still using a rechargeable lead-acid battery to store electric power. This type of battery can last for six hours before needing a recharge.

When the battery’s charge goes low, the gasoline engine take over to provide electric power.

Drivers don’t have to worry that the car would stall when the electric power dries up, because the gasoline engine will automatically engage its generator. The car can still be running.

The lead-acid battery can be replaced by a lithium battery, which lasts longer. A lithium battery needs a shorter time to recharge, Hapid said, but he noted that such high performance also comes with a price, as lithium batteries are far more expensive.

With a lithium battery, the researchers were confident that the electric-powered car could travel the approximately two hours from Bandung to Jakarta like a conventional car, but at a lower cost.

I’m sure if it was using a lithium battery, the hybrid car could make the trip without recharging. If the battery got low, the generator would supply electric power, which is enough for 4.5 hours of travel.


A day earlier, engineers at Yogyakarta’s Gadjah Mada University also debuted an energy-efficient vehicle dubbed SEMARt. They claimed the vehicle required only one liter of gasoline to travel 1,000 kilometers. Months before, students of Institute Technology Sepuluh Nopember of Surabaya developed the same vehicle called Sapuangin (Windblows) which can travel 1,000 km using only 1 litre of gasoline (been posted here before).


The Bandung-based researchers expect that the government or private sector will pick up the readily available technology for public use, as such technology would help save the environment and reduce the use of gasoline. They said they had not patented the engine because they needed to find if there were similar technologies to theirs. “If there is no patented technology like ours, surely we’ll do it” said Syahrul Aiman, deputy of technical science at LIPI.

Hybrid car research at LIPI dates back to 1999, but mainly for internal purposes within the institute. In 2001 the institute received funds from the government specifically to look for innovation in a hybrid vehicle model. The recently launched hybrid car engine was the fruit of four years of research. A car using this hybrid engine was tested on the road and did well.

Though originally developed in 1900, gasoline-electric hybrids have only been widely available commercially since 1997, when Toyota released the Prius in Japan. That model is now the world’s best-selling hybrid, and gets about 21 kilometers per liter of gasoline. But the Prius is not widely sold in Indonesia.

Quoted from The Jakarta Globe

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