Wednesday, December 6, 2023

ASEAN to Work with China, S. Korea, Japan for Regional EV Ecosystem

Jayanty Nada Shofa
August 16, 2023 | 5:16 am
A man charges his electric vehicle at a state-owned utility firm PLN branch office in Malang on July 11, 2023. (Antara Photo/Ari Bowo Sucipto)
A man charges his electric vehicle at a state-owned utility firm PLN branch office in Malang on July 11, 2023. (Antara Photo/Ari Bowo Sucipto)

Jakarta. ASEAN is currently trying to build a regional electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem, and the 10-member grouping is seeking some support from its East Asian neighbors, according to an Indonesian diplomat.

The bloc will soon unveil a new EV ecosystem cooperation under the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) mechanism. They will make the announcement at the upcoming 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta next month.

The APT is an economic cooperation between ASEAN and three East Asian nations – China, South Korea, and Japan -- that dates back to 1997.

This APT cooperation on the e-mobility ecosystem follows a leaders' declaration on the same matter that the Southeast Asian leaders had adopted in May.


“Not all ASEAN members have adopted the same standards, rules, and EV infrastructure. We ask the three APT nations to help us develop our EV ecosystem,” Berlianto Pandapotan Hasudungan, the director for ASEAN's economic cooperation at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, told reporters in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The Southeast Asian grouping is expected to reveal more details on the cooperation with China-Japan-Korea on the EV ecosystem once they adopt the ASEAN Plus Three leaders’ statement on EV Ecosystem in September.

ASEAN intends to harmonize its members’ EV-related standards to facilitate trade, particularly of climate-friendly vehicles or their components. By “standards”, this includes the various electric plugs that differ from one country to another. 

According to Berlianto, unified standards are pivotal for the regional EV supply chain development. The standardization will enable member states to trade EVs at ease. 

He added: “Imagine if Indonesia exports EVs to Singapore, but the plugs are incompatible. The same goes for other elements like batteries and even safety standards. Having a single battery capacity standard can enable consumers to easily change the batteries.” 

When asked by the Jakarta Globe if ASEAN had set a timeline of when they aimed to achieve unified regional standards, Berlianto said that the group had only gotten started.

“A leaders’ declaration is of the highest level of political commitment. It is something that needs to be passed down to the smaller sectoral bodies. For instance, the ministers would work on a framework or roadmap, while senior officials’ meetings [SOM] would discuss the technical aspects to push for its implementation,” Berlianto said.

Read More: 43rd ASEAN Summit to Bring Together 27 World Leaders, Global Bodies

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