In a bid to meet climate commitments and to realize the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 of a sustainable Asia-Pacific, APEC member economies are intensifying coordination to develop measures that promotes the uptake for new-technology vehicles.
APEC officials and senior auto industry representatives convened in Bangkok last week to deliberate on the benefits of environmental and vehicle safety regulatory cooperation, convergence and harmonization in advancing trade facilitation as well as promote connectivity in the region.
“In line with the bio-circular-green (BCG) economy model as part of APEC 2022 priorities, the region’s auto industry should seize the momentum and push ahead with our net zero and low emission commitment to contribute to economic recovery and address global environmental concerns,” said Krit Chansuwan, Deputy Director General of Thailand’s Office of Industrial Economics in his remarks at the APEC Automotive Dialogue, a forum for industry and government to discuss a broad range of issues that affect auto trade.
“While electric vehicles have been the go-to solution for the auto industry to achieve a net zero or low-carbon future, we need to remember that each APEC economy is unique, therefore we need multiple approaches to achieve our climate commitments,” he said
“Both policymakers and industry players recognize the critical role of policy because without it the industry will not be able to fast-track technology deployment and make the necessary transition,” Krit added.
APEC member economies have made notable progress in the past years in transitioning to electric vehicles through the redevelopment of regulatory regimes, common standards and targets to encourage the shift to a low-carbon-vehicles option.
More needs to be done as member economies race to achieve their commitment of reducing global carbon dioxide emissions by 45 percent, from 2010 levels, by 2030. Officials and industry experts deliberated policies to reduce the price of new-technology vehicles, looking at tax credits, subsides and rebates, among others.
They recognize the urgent need to incentivize innovation, research and development, manufacturing and recycling the components of new-technology vehicles such as batteries and semiconductors.
The dialogue also brought out the challenges surrounding charging infrastructure, where industry representatives recommended that support from policymakers in developing and funding electric vehicle charging plans-to a point that charging ports are well-located and can be easily accessed-will smoothen the transition and boost market confidence.
Participants of the dialogue also agree that having stable, transparent and predictable carbon dioxide emission targets and regulations will provide clear direction and a signal to long-term industry players and investors that these shifts can be made progressively.
The dialogue will continue collaborating with other APEC groups such as the Energy Working Group and Transportation Working Group to identify and integrate new and emerging sustainable transportation and mobility technology and services.