By Michael Elkins
Local news reports suggest Tesla (NASDAQ:) has agreed to build a battery and electric vehicle factory in Indonesia. The company had been in talks with officials as far back as 2020 about their natural supply of nickel, a crucial material used in making batteries for the vehicles. However, the country’s investment minister, Bahlil Lahadalia, said Thursday that the U.S. electric vehicle manufacturer has agreed to build a battery and electric vehicle plant at an industrial complex in Central Java province.
Minister Lahadalia did not give specifics, but hinted that the project might begin this year.
“God willing, Tesla will enter Indonesia this year,” Bahlil told a discussion in Jakarta.
“But I can’t announce the month yet. Let’s wait, because we haven’t signed an agreement yet. How much investment is still being kept secret, still waiting. But this is good stuff, big stuff,” he said
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, for his part, said he was “fired up” by Indonesia’s enthusiasm.
“We’re going to look closely from the Tesla and SpaceX standpoint to try to do some partnerships in Indonesia,” he said in a video. “And, like I said, I think the future of Indonesia is very bright. I think we were looking closely to a potential collaboration on many, many fronts”.