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Electric Vehicle Readiness in Southeast Asia: A PEST Policy Review at AICEE 2021

15 September 2021

Online,  15 Sept 2021Earlier this week, the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) successfully held the 1st ASEAN International Conference on Energy and Environment (AICEE). As the first regional conference focused on the energy and environment nexus, this year, the forum raised the theme of “ASEAN Energy Transition with Resiliency in the Post-Pandemic Climate Change Era.” The event is part of the 1st ASEAN Energy Business Forum (AEBF), which more than 2,400 global energy participants attended. 

Among a diverse group of scholars on the “Renewable Energy Technologies and Policies” session, Mr. Muhammad Rizki Kresnawan− Technical Officer of Modelling and Policy Planning, ACE, is featured to present a paper abstract titled “Electric Vehicle Readiness in Southeast Asia: A PEST Policy Review.” This paper co-authored with other ACE colleagues, namely Dr. Zulfikar Yurnaidi, Amira Bilqis, Tabita Natasha Wijaya, and Beni Suryadi.  

Reportage – Electric Vehicle Readiness in Southeast Asia: A PEST Policy Review at AICEE 2021

Mr. Rizki started his elaboration by laying out the ASEAN final energy consumption. As the second-largest after industry, energy consumption in the transport sector will be continuously relying on the Oil, if there is no significant intervention on energy transition. Fortunately, there are concrete actions to transform the sector to be greener. Besides biofuel mandates that have been in place for several countries, ASEAN Member States (AMS) is also turning to start the initial phase of electric mobility. The significant penetration of biofuel and electric mobility could save almost 71 Mtoe by 2040 based on the 6th ASEAN Energy Outlook findings.  

He then continued his presentation by highlighting the pros and cons of electric mobility deployment. The potential challenges were listed, such as high capital requirement, lack of supporting infrastructure, and the argument that fossil fuels still dominate the electricity generation in many Southeast Asian countries. If this continues, governments will start to rely on imported fuel and jeopardize energy security. Hence, it is needed to assess the readiness of AMS on the Electric Vehicles (EV) deployment from policy perspectives.  

The study entails the summary of ASEAN EV Policies analyzed against the PEST framework, which finds that most AMS has started to pave the way for cleaner transport projects from the political will. While for economic setting, some countries have started to give several types of incentives (tax exemption and exemption, for example) to boost the demand nationally. Socially, many supporting policies are in place, especially for countries with limited oil reserves to turn into EV-based transports to tone down fuel imports. Lastly, technological capability is available; however, it still faces price issues. Mr. Rizki also mentioned the importance of learning from Vietnam’s best practices by building VinFast, a local EV manufacturer, to cut down the high price of vehicles. 

He believed that there are five critical factors at the minimum, to accelerate EV deployment effectively: 1) incentives for private sectors to build charging infrastructure, 2) support the conventional car service provider to adapt with EV’s operation and maintenance support, 3) attractive incentives policies to attract investments and provide the best climate for EV supply and demand, 4) promoting the use of EV to pitch public appetite, and lastly 5) responsive electricity generation to meet the significant demand of power to fuel EVs. 

The presentation ended with three main conclusion points: 

  1. The review has shown that readiness in terms of accelerating policy differs among AMS. While in the regional level, the policies are more focused on the pursuance of energy efficiency and improvement of fuel economy; 
  1. The study structurally analyzed within the PEST point of view; 
  1. Critical factors and policy recommendations were identified. Thus, the way forward we ought to establish well-designed policies both nationally and regionally. 

The full paper would be available on the upcoming special issue of IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science journal in January 2022. 


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