During a business roundtable commemorating the 50th anniversary of bilateral ties, government officials and industry executives from South Korea and Indonesia highlighted joint efforts to build the electric car ecosystem in the Southeast Asian country on Friday.
“The relationship is crucial since you (Korea) have excellent lithium battery technology. We aspire to be the world’s top lithium battery manufacturer by 2027,” said Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s coordinating minister of maritime affairs and investment, at a forum hosted at a Seoul hotel.
According to the Indonesian government, the nation has agreed to grant tax breaks of up to 11 percent to buyers of electric vehicles. The projected population of Indonesia is 280 million, and around one million automobiles are sold annually.
Lee Young-tack, executive vice president of Hyundai Motor Group responsible for the car giant’s Asia-Pacific region, emphasized Hyundai’s strong desire to join the Indonesian government’s green initiative.
“In line with the Indonesian government’s mid- to long-term eco-friendly and energy plans, Hyundai Motor is supporting the Indonesian EV industry across all sectors of the EV ecosystem,” added Lee.
Hyundai Motor is establishing infrastructure for the local manufacture and assembly of batteries, according to a company executive. The business is building a battery cell facility and a battery pack plant in Bekasi, to the east of the nation’s capital, Jakarta, with intentions to begin production at the two operations as early as next year.
Speaking to the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Indonesian ambassador to Korea, Gandi Sulistiyanto, stated, “I should encourage him (Lee) to build more because demand is so strong in Indonesia. When people in Indonesia consider electric vehicles, they think of Hyundai.”
Hyundai is the main EV manufacturer in Indonesia, with its local facility producing the best-selling Ioniq 5. The automaker intends to increase its EV sales to 10,000 units this year, further increasing the gap with global competitors such as Tesla and Lexus.
Erick Thohir, Indonesia’s minister of state-owned enterprises, said in an Instagram post on Thursday that he had met with Chung Euisun, executive chair of Hyundai Motor Group, to discuss the growth of the EV ecosystem in Indonesia. According to the Indonesian official, the two parties discussed collaborating on the production of 100 Hyundai EVs with interiors decorated in batik, a traditional Indonesian dying method.
Former South Korean ambassador to Indonesia and executive vice president of the Korea Battery Industry Association, Park Tae-sung, urged for a Korea-Indonesia battery forum to further study methods to collaborate.
Herald Corp., publisher of The Korea Herald and Herald Business, along with the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Seoul and the Indonesia Investment Procurement Center co-hosted the business event. The event was attended by around 300 Indonesian and Korean government officials and Korean business people.