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EV Sales Poised to Surge Beyond Expectations

Traditionally, the Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS) has been an event my husband frequents alone—I can scarcely recall the last instance I accompanied him.

However, this year's IIMS harbored a different allure for me. It was I who suggested we attend, with my sights set solely on one brand: BYD.

And what a revelation it was! The moment we stepped into BYD's area, it was clear I wasn't alone in my anticipation. The crowd around their booth was a clear indicator of the brand's magnetism. Just getting a chance to sit in one of their models (and we're not even talking about test driving here) meant navigating through a sea of eager attendees. I ended up spending nearly an hour in line, all for a few moments to soak in the ambiance of their car interiors.

Since their soft launch, I've been curious about the price tags they would reveal. I was half-expecting them to be in the ballpark of Wuling Binguo's pricing.

And then, at last, they unveiled the genuine prices at IIMS event. To my surprise, the figures weren't as low as many had anticipated.

  • BYD Dolphin: IDR 425 million

  • BYD Atto 3: IDR 515 million

  • BYD Seal: IDR 629 million and IDR 719 million

Though the prices set forth are steeper than those of the Wuling EV Car, one cannot overlook the excellence of the vehicles BYD presents.

From their exterior to the interior design, the word 'marvelous' barely does justice. It's evident that the cars on offer are of high quality. From the precision of their lines, which are remarkably symmetrical, to the quality of their lights and the robustness of their bodies—far from the flimsiness found in vehicles of similar price points from other automakers. It's rare to find such quality and durability at these price points, especially compared to what's generally available in the market. Even the Dolphin, their entry-level model, boasted an impressive build quality.

Source: Euro Ncap

Safety-wise, even BYD Dolphin has obtained a 5-star Euro NCAP rating.

At the event, my curiosity as an equity broker couldn't be contained—I was eager to find out just how many customers had already paid the booking fee for a BYD vehicle. Unfortunately, both Arista and BYD representatives were decidedly tight-lipped about it, much to my amusement.

Though they withheld specific sales figures, they did mention that orders placed at the IIMS were on an indent basis, with vehicles expected to arrive between the end of April and early May. Furthermore, they also mentioned that most sales come from Dolphin and Seal.

Inquiring further about payment options, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that bank financing was available. Major banks such as BCA, Mandiri, CIMB Niaga, Maybank, among others, were listed as financing partners.

Source: Mandiri

Driven by curiosity rather than intent to purchase, I delved into the details of their financing arrangements, wondering if the interest rates were higher. It turns out that the financing conditions, including interest rates, were on par with those for combustion engine vehicles, with interest rates offered being less than 3% per annum. The insurance fees were also standard.

I questioned one of the bank representatives about the parity in terms, especially considering the potential risk of a challenging secondary market should there be defaults. The response was enlightening; the risk assessment for EV was similar to that of conventional vehicles. In fact, they indicated a greater propensity to approve financing for electric cars over electric motorcycles.

Reflecting on all this, I'm left feeling optimistic about the future of electric vehicle sales in Indonesia. The support from the government, coupled with the banking sector's willingness to finance EV purchases, paints a promising picture. It seems the path to widespread adoption of electric cars in the country might be smoother than we had anticipated.


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