Thursday, December 7, 2023

ASEAN Members Say Yes to Regional EV Ecosystem

Jayanty Nada Shofa
April 5, 2023 | 3:18 pm
An EV charging station in Dumai photographed on March 31, 2023. (Antara Photo/Aswaddy Hamid)
An EV charging station in Dumai photographed on March 31, 2023. (Antara Photo/Aswaddy Hamid)

Jakarta. ASEAN member states have agreed to build a regional ecosystem for electric vehicles in a bid to strengthen the group’s energy security, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi.

Over the past three months, ASEAN chair Indonesia has been leading discussions on enhancing the 10-member grouping’s energy security, all in hopes to make the region an “epicenter of growth”. Matters being discussed in these talks include the development of a regional EV ecosystem. 

“At the High-Level Task Force on Economic Integration [HLTF-EI] meeting, ASEAN countries agreed to develop an ASEAN EV ecosystem. This [cooperation] will be adopted at the upcoming 42nd ASEAN Summit in May,” Retno told reporters in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Retno did not go into further detail on the regional battery-powered transport ecosystem. 


But the Indonesian government previously said that the 43rd HLTF-EI meeting conducted last month in Belitung had members approving of the idea.

“The HLTF-EI members supported the development of the regional EV ecosystem by integrating the upstream and downstream industrial sectors. This includes investment support, production and supply chain of spare parts and batteries, as well as battery waste processing,” a press statement issued by the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs reads.

The Indonesian private sector is also on the move to promote EV cooperation in the region. 

Just last week, ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) chair Arsjad Rasjid visited member state Philippines, among others, to discuss cooperation on mineral downstream industries for EV production. According to Arsjad, Indonesia and the Philippines hold between 33 and 40 percent of the world’s nickel ore reserves.

“Indonesia and the Philippines hold a strong position in the global nickel ore reserves. This gives a strong basis for a partnership and to become the leaders of the EV and battery industries, be it within ASEAN or globally,” Arsjad, who is also the chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Indonesia (Kadin), said in a written statement.

Arsjad added the two countries had the potential to boost global nickel production by up to 50 percent with stronger cooperation.

Nickel is a mainstay for batteries. A US Geological Survey report shows that Indonesia has 21 million metric tons of nickel reserves, with its mine production amounting to 1.6 million metric tons in 2022. The Philippines have 4.8 million metric tons of nickel ore reserves. Last year, the Philippines’ mines produced 330,000 metric tons of nickel.

ASEAN-BAC is the apex private sector body of the Southeast Asian bloc.

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