Indonesia says that it is in early talks with Tesla about a potential investment by the electric car maker in the ASEAN country. This is according to Ayodhia Kalake, a senior official at the republic’s coordinating ministry for maritime and investment, reported by Reuters.
Ayodhia said Tesla had reached out to the government informally about a possible venture, but he did not specify what Elon Musk’s company had in mind. “It was still an early discussion and was not detailed yet. We need further discussion with Tesla,” the official said, adding that Indonesia has a number of incentives for EV investments.
The largest country in Southeast Asia is a major producer of nickel, which is a key component in EV batteries. It has been reported that Indonesia is seeking to develop a full supply chain for nickel at home, especially for extracting battery chemicals, making batteries and eventually building EVs. This is opposed to merely exporting nickel ore, which has been stopped.
The republic said last month that it had secured a deal for lithium battery plant by South Korea’s LG Chem and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL). Earlier this year, Tesla chief Elon Musk urged miners to produce more nickel and offered “giant” long-term contracts if the element was mined “efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way”.
Also in the region but on an unrelated front, Tesla has been recently spotted scouting for aftersales staff in Singapore, which is a clear hint that the maker of the Model S is looking to set up shop just south of the border. More on Tesla’s latest battery tech here.
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