Hyundai is kicking its electric car strategy in Indonesia into high gear as it plans to start production in Indonesia by March 2022, according to Tribunnews.com. The new plant in Cikarang, Bekasi Regency is expected to initially produce around 1,000 zero-emission vehicles a year.

Speaking at the launch of the Hyundai’s future electric ecosystem exhibition yesterday, the country’s minister of industry Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita said the move showcases the capabilities of the Indonesian automotive industry, which is moving towards an eco-friendly direction.

“It also sends a message to the international community that Indonesia is ready to become the main export hub for electric vehicles in ASEAN and the surrounding region,” he said.

No details have been revealed just yet, although the publication said the Ioniq Electric – which is already being sold in Indonesia in fully-imported form – will be the first model produced. Chief operating officer of PT Hyundai Motors Indonesia (HMID), Makmur, told reporters to be patient and wait for further information.

“The government has a roadmap, we also have a roadmap that we have prepared,” he said. “The model will definitely be the same [as what is currently being sold]. We will take things one by one.”

The ministry of industry is facilitating the growth of the electric vehicle sector by releasing two new regulations regarding the local content of battery electric vehicles (BEV) and the importation of complete and incomplete assembly kits.

Hyundai has already broken ground on a new battery plant in Indonesia, a joint venture with LG

“Through these two regulations, the ministry of industry provides instructions for automotive industry stakeholders regarding strategies, policies and programs in order to achieve Indonesia’s target as a production base and export hub for electric vehicles,” said Agus Gumiwang.

In its BEV development roadmap, the ministry will prioritise CKD local assembly until 2024 before proceeding with “incompletely knocked down” (IKD, not to be confused with semi knocked down or SKD) vehicles, which feature some local content. This dovetails with Hyundai’s plan to build a US$1.1 billion (RM4.6 billion) battery plant in partnership with LG, also due to be operational by 2024.

“This scheme is intended to obtain added value in the form of increasing the local content through gradual deepening of manufacturing until 2030,” said the minister, adding that the scheme is being developed to involved as many local component manufacturers (there are 1,550 in total in Indonesia) to help them transition from producing petrol and diesel engine parts to building EV components. The framework will also take into account battery recycling, he said.

It’s not just EVs – the facelifted Creta SUV will also be built in Indonesia

Agus Gumiwang also urged PT Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (HMMI), the company that operates the Cikarang plant, to establish an academy or polytechnic to enable graduates to automatically become either plant workers or aftersales staff.

“This exhibition is a real step from Hyundai Motor Group as a global EV producer to support the Indonesian government in making Indonesia a production base for BEVs through investment, construction of production facilities and research, development and design, as well as industrial human resource development,” he said.

Hyundai won’t just be building electric vehicles in Indonesia – there will also be a range of internal combustion engined cars that will be assembled there. The first model, the facelifted Creta B-segment SUV, will be revealed soon, likely at the Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS) next month.