"Currently, ASEAN is in the process of establishing a regional ecosystem for electric vehicles (EVs) and is actively seeking support from its East Asian neighbors, as explained by an Indonesian diplomat. The ASEAN bloc is set to introduce a new collaboration focused on the EV ecosystem within the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) framework. This announcement is expected to take place during the upcoming 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta next month.
The APT framework involves economic cooperation between ASEAN and three East Asian nations: China, South Korea, and Japan, dating back to 1997. This new cooperation on the e-mobility ecosystem follows a prior declaration by Southeast Asian leaders on the same topic in May. According to Berlianto Pandapotan Hasudungan, the Director for ASEAN's Economic Cooperation at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, not all ASEAN member states have adopted consistent standards, regulations, or EV infrastructure. Consequently, they are seeking assistance from the three APT nations to develop their EV ecosystem.
More details about the collaboration between ASEAN and China-Japan-Korea regarding the EV ecosystem are expected to be disclosed once the ASEAN Plus Three leaders' statement on the EV Ecosystem is adopted in September. ASEAN's objective is to standardize EV-related criteria among its member states to promote trade, particularly for environmentally friendly vehicles and their components. This standardization encompasses aspects such as electric plug compatibility, which currently varies among countries.
According to Berlianto, having unified standards is crucial for the development of a regional EV supply chain, making it easier for member states to trade EVs and components. He pointed out that a common battery capacity standard, for example, would enable consumers to interchange batteries effortlessly.
When asked about a timeline for achieving unified regional standards, Berlianto stated that the process had only just begun. He emphasized that a leaders' declaration represents the highest level of political commitment and will need to be implemented through smaller sectoral bodies. For instance, ministers will work on a framework or roadmap, while senior officials' meetings (SOM) will address the technical aspects to advance its implementation."