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Hyundai Motor, Indonesia to bolster ties on EVs, hydrogen

May 21, 2024 - 15:00 By Moon Joon-hyun
Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Chung Euisun (second from right) and key executives attend a meeting with Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto in Seoul on Monday. From left are Kim Il-boom, executive vice president at Hyundai's global policy office, Hyundai Motor Company CEO Jang Jae-hoon, Chung and Sung Kim, the group's foreign affairs advisor. (Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs of Indonesia)

Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Chung Euisun met with Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, in Seoul on Monday to discuss ongoing and expanding collaborations in hydrogen energy and electric vehicle production.

The meeting also included Kim Il-boom, executive vice president at the Global Policy Office, Hyundai Motor Company CEO Jang Jae-hoon and his foreign affairs advisor Sung Kim, a former US ambassador to South Korea.

Hyundai is addressing Indonesia’s energy needs by converting organic waste into hydrogen in West Java, where it has established a production base. Minister Hartarto emphasized that Hyundai's hydrogen project will not only support Indonesia’s energy independence but also contribute to the ASEAN hydrogen market. He highlighted hydrogen’s potential in promoting economic growth and reducing carbon emissions.

Minister Hartarto said, “The Indonesian government is committed to accelerating the development of EVs by creating a comprehensive roadmap, offering incentives and fostering an EV ecosystem. Agreements with Hyundai have led to substantial investments, including the establishment of an EV manufacturing plant, a battery cell joint factory and a battery pack factory in Indonesia.”

Chung and Hartarto also discussed new hydrogen initiatives. Hyundai will collaborate with state-owned oil company Pertamina, which engages in various hydrogen projects globally and sees hydrogen as crucial to achieving a climate-neutral economy.

Hyundai’s expansion in Indonesia aims to penetrate the Southeast Asian market. Indonesia, with the world’s fourth-largest population and significant nickel reserves, is a critical location. Nickel is essential for battery production, and Indonesia accounted for about 37 percent of the world’s nickel production last year. South Korea’s investment in Indonesia has grown steadily over the years, from $185 million in 1973 to $26 billion in 2023.

In 2022, Hyundai built its first Southeast Asian car plant in Bekasi, producing the Ioniq 5 EV and the Stargazer, a multipurpose vehicle. Hyundai and LG Energy Solutions are also constructing a 10 gigawatt-hour EV battery plant in Karawang, with plans to start mass production in the second half of this year and expand to 30 GWh.

Hyundai is also participating in Indonesia’s national project of relocating the capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan by 2024. The Nusantara Authority, established in 2022, oversees this project, with a completion target of 2045. Hyundai will collaborate with the Authority on a demonstration project for future air mobility solutions in the new capital.

Chairman Chung has shown a strong commitment to the Indonesian market, visiting the country four times since becoming chairman in October 2020.