Can Tesla Secure a New Battery Factory in Indonesia?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has bee talking about bringing Tesla to India for quite some time now. Just last month Musk twitted that Tesla would enter India “next year for sure” when asked about the matter. Now we are learning that Tesla may begin its entry into South Asia. New reports have revealed that Tesla is getting closer to a deal to build a battery factory in Indonesia. The country’s top officials are going to meet with Tesla executives next week.

After learning that Tesla was in talks with Indonesia to potentially build a full battery factory in the country, we are finding out that it is now a real possibility.

When thinking of large EV markets, our minds don’t typically go to Indonesia. The lack of available electric models and the high cost of owning an EV result in a fairly small EV market in the country. Although Indonesia is one of the world’s biggest nickel producers, it recently put a ban on exporting nickel in hopes of encouraging the industry to process it locally. In order to take advantage of the country’s nickel reserves, companies are deploying more production capacity in the country.

According to Indonesian president Joko Widodo, they are sending a delegation to the US to meet with top Tesla executives (via Reuters): “Indonesian president Joko Widodo said he will send a high-level team next week to meet with top executives of US automaker Tesla as the Southeast Asian country aims to become the world’s biggest producer of electric vehicle batteries.”

Widodo commented on the meeting saying “It’s very important because we have a great plan to make Indonesia the biggest producer of lithium batteries and we have the biggest nickel [reserves].”

With Tesla’s elaborate battery plan, the California based company has been working on securing more nickel through battery suppliers like CATL and Panasonic, as well as building its own battery cells. With a potential new battery factory in Indonesia, these efforts will undoubtedly be supported.

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