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Indonesia is crucial for global electric vehicle industry growth

Indonesia, known for its abundant natural resources and incredible natural beauty, is emerging as a pivotal player in the global electric vehicle (EV) market with the potential to serve as a blessing not only for the people of our country, but for the world. A green country demands a green future.

And recent discoveries of significant lithium deposits, announced by Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, complement the country's already vast nickel reserves, positioning it as a truly vital global player in the EV battery supply chain – the beating heart of the global green transition.

This development comes at a critical juncture, as nations worldwide pivot towards sustainable energy solutions in the wake of ambitious commitments made at the close of last year’s UAE hosted COP28 to phase out fossil fuels. Specifically, nearly every country in attendance agreed to “transition away from fossil fuels” – the primary driver of climate change – at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai with the agreement including the first “global stocktake” of how accelerating action to meet these goals could realistically happen.

Indonesia’s incumbent president, Joko Widodo, has been both outspoken and ambitious in his commitment to net-zero. Indeed, our nation’s pivotal role as the host of the G20 in 2022, under the title, “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”, was centred around the green energy transition, underscoring our dedication to shaping the global narrative on sustainable development.

And once again, Indonesia’s contribution to a sustainable future was reaffirmed during COP28 where after great debate, significant strides were made to support the phasing out of fossil fuels. These international platforms have served as important arenas for Indonesia to showcase its strides in sustainable energy and EV production, garnering support and fostering partnerships crucial for driving the green revolution forward.

And once again, Indonesia’s contribution to a sustainable future was reaffirmed during COP28 where after great debate, significant strides were made to support the phasing out of fossil fuels. These international platforms have served as important arenas for Indonesia to showcase its strides in sustainable energy and EV production, garnering support and fostering partnerships crucial for driving the green revolution forward.

Indeed, the synergy between natural resource discoveries, industry initiatives, and international collaborations position Indonesia at the nexus of the global EV movement. Despite this, many challenges loom on the horizon, including the need for sustainable extraction practices, technological advancements, and infrastructural developments to support a burgeoning EV ecosystem.

The synergy between natural resource discoveries, industry initiatives, and international collaborations position Indonesia at the nexus of the global EV movement Quote

Our own Indika Energy has been working to address exactly these sorts of challenges with the help of technologies like DNi, (Direct Nickel). DNi technology is a revolutionary method for extracting nickel from ore. This innovative technique boasts significant environmental advantages, as it allows for the direct extraction of high-purity nickel and cobalt from low-grade ores, bypassing the traditional smelting process that is energy-intensive and generates high greenhouse gas emissions.

The utilization of DNi technology represents a truly quantum leap in sustainable nickel production. It enables the traditionally dirty extraction of nickel, a critical component in EV batteries, in an environmentally conscious manner, aligning with the global push towards cleaner and greener technologies in the electric vehicle sector.

Efforts must be also directed towards ensuring the same sort of responsible extraction of lithium, minimizing environmental impact, and promoting sustainable practices across the EV supply chain. Furthermore, greater investment in research and development is imperative to optimize battery development technology as a whole, enhancing efficiency, driving down costs, and making EVs more accessible to a broader market.

Indonesia’s journey towards EV dominance is an evolutionary process, marked by strategic partnerships, resource utilization, and a steadfast commitment to sustainability. As we move into the next phase, the public sector must join hands with the private sector, ensuring a regulatory framework which both encourages and underpins the requisite capital investment for what truly is a global revolution.

As the world embarks on a transformative path towards cleaner energy, Indonesia’s emergence as a key player in EV production signifies a paradigm shift towards a greener, more sustainable future. The nation’s newfound lithium discoveries coupled with its rich nickel, provide the fertile ground upon which to fulfil the government’s grand commitments showcased both at COP28 and G20. The time is now to truly solidify our role as a catalyst in the green transition, signalling a promising future where sustainable mobility takes center stage.

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Azis Armand is the CEO of Indika Energy, one of Indonesia's largest diversified holding companies.

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