ASEAN Sees 570 Pct Rise in EV Investment in 2022
Jakarta. ASEAN posted a triple-digit growth in investment that went to the region’s electric vehicle (EV) sector in 2022, according to Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia on Saturday.
Data shown during Bahlil’s remarks at the 2023 ASEAN Investment Forum revealed that the region’s e-mobility sector’s popularity among investors skyrocketed last year.
ASEAN in 2019 attracted $2.1 billion in EV-related investment, with the numbers rising to $5.5 billion in 2020. EV investment inflows in ASEAN then dropped to $2.7 billion in 2021 before finally witnessing a 570 percent growth the following year. In 2022, investors put $18.1 billion into the Southeast Asian bloc's e-mobility sector.
“As EV investment grows, ASEAN is able to demonstrate that environmentally-friendly sustainable development in the region goes hand in hand with economic transformation through the [domestic processing or] industrial downstream of natural resources,” Bahlil told the forum.
For Indonesia alone, the country had attracted a total of $42 billion in EV battery investment commitments throughout 2020-2023.
About $9.8 billion came from South Korea’s LG Energy Solution. Indonesia reported that it had secured a $5.2 billion deal with Chinese battery manufacturer CATL.
This EV battery manufacturing is also part of Indonesia’s grand downstreaming plan wherein the country favors processing its mineral resources at home for higher added value. This downstream strategy also applies to nickel, a silvery-white metal that Indonesia is abundant in and a mainstay in EV battery production. Indonesia has banned exports of unprocessed nickel ores since 2020.
“The rapid growth of EV investment shows that we are no longer in an era wherein investors come to extract our abundant natural resources and take control of their added value, while our people only become spectators,” Bahlil said.
Bahlil’s Malaysian counterpart Tengku Zafrul Aziz also commented on the fast-growing EV investment in the region.
Tengku Zafrul said ASEAN had been a net beneficiary of the global supply chain’s realignment with EV being among the sectors that benefit from this. The minister attributed the triple-digit growth to the bloc’s stability and talent pool, to name a few. He also listed “ecosystem and infrastructure” as reasons for the 570-percent increase seen in ASEAN's e-mobility investment.
“Speaking of ecosystem and infrastructure, Malaysia has a very mature semiconductor [industry] in the electrics and electronics [E&E] sector, which is pivotal to the EV supply chain. Malaysia’s test-and-assembly contributes close to 13 percent of the global market share,” Tengku Zafrul told reporters on the sidelines of the ASEAN Investment Forum.
“ASEAN’s stability and cooperation, coupled with its prospective growth as a bloc, are also the other reasons why investors are coming [to the region] especially to invest in EV. Not to mention ASEAN’s relatively young population,” Tengku Zafrul said.