Indonesia’s EV dreams at odds with deforestation pledge (Free Malaysia Today – November 16, 2021)

JAKARTA: Global electric vehicle makers have set their sights on Indonesia, attracted by its abundant reserves of key EV battery ingredient nickel, government backing for the industry and the market potential of the world’s fourth most populous nation.

Such ambitions are on parade at the ongoing Indonesia International Auto Show, on the outskirts of Jakarta. Automakers from China, South Korea and elsewhere are counting on the Indonesian government’s push to increase EV sales, one of the ways in which Jakarta hopes to reduce the country’s CO2 output as it aims for net zero emissions by 2060.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Industry, for example, is aiming for EVs to account for 20% of vehicle sales by 2025. It is also working to become an EV manufacturing hub.

But Southeast Asia’s largest economy, home to more than 270 million people, faces an uphill battle in turning its EV production and consumption dreams into reality. Already, environmental concerns have the government vowing to fight deforestation, which could hinder its mining of the world’s most extensive nickel reserves, analysts warn.

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