The Directorate of Innovation and Industrial Cooperation of Diponegoro University, with several Research Teams focusing on Electric and Hybrid Vehicles made an industrial visit to Viar Motor Indonesia in Semarang, on Friday, November 19th 2021. “The purpose of the industrial visit was to explore the problems that exist in the industry and to look for solutions so that it can be followed up with collaborative activities,” said drh. Dian Wahyu Harjanti, Ph.D. as the Undip Director of Innovation and Industrial Cooperation. Furthermore, Dian explained that the research team and the Viar team will discuss about the mechanism of the cooperation, what it will take, what problems will be raised as the focus of research, and what ideas will be produced as commercial products.

Based on the results of The Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, Diponegoro University has managed to be included in 200 best universities in the world that implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2021. To maintain and improve that achievement, Diponegoro University feels obliged to realize the goals of SDGs, two of which are in line with the Industrial Visit for Electric Vehicle Research Cooperation, namely Affordable and Clean Energy (Goal 7) and Industry and Innovation and Infrastructure (Goal 9). This activity is also a way to invite all parties to support partnership networks so that they can contribute to the success of Diponegoro University’s SDGs program by doing various activities and substantive works. The development of partnership networks is needed because the government cannot carry out development alone. In addition, the implementation of the partnership must be developed so that it is not just a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), but is realized in concrete actions by the parties in accordance with their respective portions in the form of a Cooperation Agreement / Memorandum of Agreement (MoA). If the partnership network is well formed and its sustainability is maintained, it will certainly support the integrated programs in the SDGs program of Diponegoro University. This was stated and initiated by the Vice Rector for Research, Innovation and Cooperation, Prof. Dr. Ir. Ambariyanto, M.Sc. to the Undip Innovation Team.

During the visit to Viar Motor Indonesia, which is located at Bukit Semarang Baru (BSB) Industrial Estate Block A5 no. 9, Jatibarang, Mijen Semarang, Central Java 50219, the Directorate of Innovation and Industrial Cooperation Undip invited the Deputy Director of Innovation and Industrial Cooperation, Dr. I Made Bayu Dirgantara, S.E., M.M. and the Undip Electric Bus Research Team (Devtrec) consisting of: Dr. Ing. Ir. Ismoyo Haryanto, M.T. (Leader), Dr. Eng. Gunawan Dwi Haryadi, S.T., M.T. (Monev Manager), Dr. Eng. Munadi, S.T., M.T, (member), and the Innovation Team – Bureau of Innovation and Cooperation consisting of: Mas Anantha Budi Prakosa, S.T., M.Sc., (Manager of Innovation), Novian Rustamaji, S.Kom. (Intellectual Property Management Supervisor), and Yuni Nurjanah, S.S., M.A. (Supervisor of Downstream Research Results).

According to General Affair of Viar Motor, Dimas Tommy Radityo, several collaborations that have been carried out with researchers from other state universities are still considered less than optimal. Especially in terms of battery life which is still very low when tested. The battery life of electric vehicles still seems to be decreasing in performance and cannot last long, so it is necessary to re-charging in a distance that is not too far away.

In line with this statement, R&D Manager of Viar Motor Indonesia, Heru Sugiantoro, said that the most crucial issue in electric and hybrid vehicles is the recharge problem, as Electric Car Charging Station or EVCS (Electric Vehicle Charging Station) is still not available in Indonesia. It takes a minimum of 3 or 4 spare batteries in an electric vehicle, and this is still considered to be a major obstacle, because fast charging facility is also still limited.

Furthermore, Heru said that distance is also the next issue. Generally electric cars can run on average between 200 to 400 kilometers and for electric and hybrid vehicles, it can be under that distance, in a single refueling. This is certainly not a problem if it is only for commuter needs. However, when it is used for long distances, it is necessary to adjust habits and preparations so that it will not interfere with the trip.

The conclusion from the results of this visit is that, for the beginning of the collaboration, the pattern and mechanism of research collaboration that will be carried out by Diponegoro University and Viar Motor Indonesia will immediately be determined, by raising several main issues, one of them is Three-Wheels Electric Vehicles for Traders (transporting people as well as goods) which also friendly to people with disabilities. This collaboration is carried out to develop sustainability and achievement of the SDGs program of Diponegoro University. (Admin-YN)