President Jokowi Urges Tesla to Make Electric Cars in Indonesia

Indonesian President Joko Widodo told Bloomberg News on Thursday that he wants to build “a huge ecosystem of electric cars” by encouraging US-based EV maker Tesla to manufacture its vehicles and batteries in Indonesia.

In early August, Tesla reportedly signed supply contracts worth about $5 billion for battery materials from nickel processing companies in Indonesia.

A senior cabinet minister told CNBC Indonesia that Tesla has secured a five-year contract with nickel processing companies based in Morowali city in Sulawesi island. The person also confirmed that Tesla would use the nickel materials in its lithium-ion batteries.

In an interview, Jokowi stated that Indonesia’s aim is to create a “huge ecosystem of electric cars,” rather than relying just on its natural resources to produce batteries.

He added that in order to increase revenue, Indonesia was considering placing a tax on nickel exports this year. There has been talk that this could happen as soon as the third quarter.