State Gajah Mada University (UGM) in Yogyakarta launched an electric car on Wednesday to be used as official transport within the campus.

The university rector, Sudjarwadi, test-drove the ‘eSemar Xperimental’ around the campus, to mark the launching of the car as part of the efforts to free the campus of pollution and noise.

“We are proud of the team that has developed the electric car and we have thanked them,” he said.

He said he hoped the effort would make the university more trusted nationally and internationally. With this, the university’s ideal to create world leaders is clearer, he added.

Sudjarwadi considers it the right time for the launch of the electric car as the government plans to raise the price of subsidized gasoline as of April 1.

“We hope the car is a solution for dealing with the increasing price of fuel and environmental challenges in the future,” he said.

The director of the university’s Directorate of Assets Management and Maintenance, Singgih Hawibowo, noted that the car was made as an effort to provide low-gas emiting transportation means.

He added that the car would first be provided to the disabled, VIP guests and university members who have problems traveling within the campus on foot or by bike.

“Right now, UGM is operating only one unit but the number will soon be increased,” he said.

Coordinator of the car making team, Jayan Sentanuhady, said the car is built on an energy saving and environmental friendly concept.

He noted that it cost around Rp200 million to build the car with a cruising capacity of around 50 kilometers.

“The battery power allows a run of around 50 kilometers, after which it needs to be re-charged,” he said.

Antaranews.com

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