Indonesia’s new capital city Nusantara can pioneer sustainable and clean urban construction in Southeast Asia

Indonesia’s new capital city Nusantara can pioneer sustainable and clean urban construction in Southeast Asia

Indonesia can contribute towards its sustainability ambitions for its new capital city from the outset by utilising emissions-free construction equipment in its development. With global attention, this is an ideal opportunity to demonstrate how advanced technology can create a net-zero capital city that serves as a global model for future urban development.

Indonesia’s new capital city, Nusantara, will kickstart an exciting chapter in the nation’s economic progress, focused on sustainability, inclusivity, and key industries such as electric vehicles that will help drive the shift toward the zero-carbon future it seeks.

The new city is much more than just a physical rebuilding of Jakarta; it is an opportunity to rethink what a capital city is - and how it should be developed. While Nusantara aims to function as a net zero model city, there is also an opportunity to get its sustainable credentials off to the best possible start by using emissions-free construction equipment in its development.

The good news is that emissions-free construction machines are already available in the Indonesian market. In 2023, Volvo CE launched its first two electric machines in Indonesia, the ECR25 Electric compact excavator and the L25 Electric Compact wheel loader.

Machines such as these can support a range of underway infrastructure development and contribute to the third phase of Nusantara’s development, which will focus on sustainability. This part of the project will strive for carbon neutrality, with smart technologies and climate-resilient features integrated from the beginning. It will source all energy from renewables, dedicate 10 per cent of its land to food production, and ensure 80 per cent of travel is by public transport, cycling, or walking.

Using electric construction machines to help build Nusantara can reinforce Indonesia’s commitment to becoming a regional electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing hub. The Indonesian government has a clear roadmap to use its substantial nickel reserves to expand the local EV industry, with exports of the mineral (a crucial battery component) banned in 2020 to mandate domestic refinement. Moreover, the government is now seeking global investors to set up the country’s EV battery and car manufacturing plants.

Raven Chua, Head of Thailand, Laos, and Indonesia, Volvo CE Region Asia, said:

“Volvo CE’s electric range allows governments and businesses to put cleaner and quieter machines into major infrastructure projects. Nusantara will be Indonesia’s new governmental headquarters, an important innovation and learning center, and a pivotal economic hub for advanced technology and low-carbon sectors. It’s a visionary project serving as a global blueprint for sustainable energy transition, digital transformation, and collaboration on smarter, greener infrastructure development. So having electric machines front and center from the outset can send a strong message.”

Volvo CE electric machines have already been used in similar sustainable developments elsewhere, albeit on a smaller scale. For example, in Denmark, a Volvo EC230 Electric is involved in The Green Construction Site of the Future, which also has climate ambitions to become CO2 neutral by 2040. Volvo CE electric machines are also being used in the USA on a federal nature refuge project to build a new trail in the refuge.

There are currently two Volvo CE Electric machines available in Indonesia. The first is the ECR25 Electric compact excavator, which has an onboard charger for general charging and a 20-kWh battery array, allowing for 3 - 4 hours of work per charge.

The second machine is the L25 Electric compact wheel loader, which features a 2.1 t payload and a maximum speed of 20 kph. The machine has a 40kWh battery pack and is expected to deliver 6 - 8 hours of work per charge. Both machines offer near-silent operations and zero emissions while enhancing operator comfort thanks to a working environment that removes the vibrations and noise associated with diesel machines.

An economic powerhouse with bold sustainability ambitions

With a GDP of over US$1 trillion, Indonesia is a growing Southeast Asia powerhouse and a strategic gateway to the region.

The country also recognises the urgent need to address climate change. It is taking decisive steps with its Enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution (Enhanced NDC), which is aligned with the global objectives of the Paris Agreement. In 2022, the nation augmented its climate targets, unconditionally raising its emission reduction ambition from 29 per cent to a notable 31.89 per cent.

Discover more about Volvo’s electric machines at

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