The recently concluded 2023 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in San Francisco has had a significant impact on the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region’s commitment to a sustainable transportation future. With a focus on electric vehicles (EVs), APEC leaders came together to express their support for sustainable transportation technologies and address environmental concerns associated with conventional vehicles.
During the summit, representatives from China’s Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Commerce actively participated in updating existing bilateral agreements with various APEC economies to promote cooperation in electric vehicles. These agreements aim to foster collaboration in various aspects of electric vehicle development, including technology transfer, infrastructure development, and market access.
One notable example is the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between China and Indonesia, which establishes a comprehensive framework for cooperation in electric vehicle standards, charging infrastructure, and supply chain development. Similarly, a 2021 MOU between China and Thailand focused on research and development, manufacturing, and commercialization of electric vehicles, resulting in significant investments from Changan Automobile and the establishment of a new electric vehicle production plant in Thailand.
China’s efforts to promote cooperation in electric vehicles also extended to Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. MOUs were signed to facilitate technology transfer, talent development, and market access in these countries, leading to increased investments and the establishment of ambitious goals for electric vehicle production and adoption.
To ensure seamless integration and compatibility across APEC economies, ministers agreed on a set of principles to guide the development of electric vehicle standards. This harmonization will not only reduce costs but also encourage widespread adoption of electric vehicles, paving the way for a unified regional charging infrastructure.
Recognizing the importance of a robust supply chain for electric vehicles, APEC countries launched a new initiative aimed at cultivating the necessary skills and expertise for electric vehicle manufacturing and maintenance. This initiative will foster collaboration among companies in APEC economies, creating a vibrant electric vehicle ecosystem.
To support the growth of the electric vehicle sector, APEC leaders called for increased public and private investment in electric vehicle infrastructure and technology. This investment will be crucial in establishing a comprehensive charging network and accelerating the development of innovative electric vehicle technologies. To facilitate this, the APEC Electric Vehicle Investment Facilitation Network was established to provide essential information and support to investors.
The APEC Electric Vehicle Strategic Plan, which is a strategic roadmap outlining a vision for electric vehicle development and deployment in the APEC region, was the culmination of the summit. This plan includes specific initiatives to support the development and deployment of electric vehicles in the region and aims to achieve that 30% of new light vehicles sold in APEC economies are electric by 2030.
The APEC 2023 Summit has laid the foundation for a sustainable transportation future in the ASEAN region, with a strong emphasis on the adoption and cooperation of electric vehicles. As China’s electric vehicle industry continues to grow, the country is poised to play a key role in shaping the global electric vehicle landscape, sharing its expertise and fostering a more sustainable future for all.
—Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is APEC?
APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) is a regional economic forum composed of 21 member economies from the Pacific region that promotes free trade and economic cooperation.
2. Why is the focus on electric vehicles important?
Electric vehicles offer a cleaner and more sustainable alternative to conventional vehicles, reducing carbon emissions and addressing environmental concerns related to transportation.
3. How will harmonizing electric vehicle standards benefit APEC economies?
Harmonizing electric vehicle standards will reduce costs and promote widespread adoption of electric vehicles, creating a unified charging infrastructure across APEC economies.
4. What is the APEC Electric Vehicle Strategic Plan?
The APEC Electric Vehicle Strategic Plan is a strategic roadmap outlining a vision for electric vehicle development and deployment in the APEC region, with the goal of achieving that 30% of new light vehicles sold in APEC economies are electric by 2030.