JOKOWI OR ISMAIL SABRI? – GUESS WHO ELON MUSK WILL CHOSE – MALAYSIANS MOCK THEIR OWN PM FOR RUSHING TO SHOW OFF WITH HIS ‘MACHAI’ AFTER BIDEN MEETING – WHILE JOKOWI STRAIGHTAWAY HEADS TO MEET WITH ‘MAN OF THE CENTURY’ ELON – AND MOVES CLOSER TO DRIVING TESLA HOME TO INDONESIA

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Indonesia is catching up fast under the visionary leadership of President Jokowi Widodo. We need leaders who care and want to develop our country,not kleptocrats or politikus who only play up racial & religious sentiments.Prepare to be a failed state if we don’t buck up. #CHANGE

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Tesla is again rumored to be near a deal for a major new battery venture in Indonesia after a new round of talks with officials and even CEO Elon Musk meeting with the Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

Tesla and Indonesia

It’s not the first time that talks of Tesla making a major investment in Indonesia have emerged.

In 2020, we reported on Tesla allegedly being in talks with the Indonesian government to build a new nickel venture in the country, which has a strong nickel reserve.

Nickel is one of the main materials used in the production of cathodes for battery cells used in electric vehicles.

The move came after CEO Elon Musk pleaded with mining companies to increase their nickel production.

Later, we also learned that Tesla was actually in talks with Indonesia not just about nickel, but to possibly build a full battery factory in the country.

As we detailed in our previous report on Tesla’s interest in Indonesia, the country is one of the world’s biggest nickel producers, but it has also recently put a ban on exporting nickel ore in order to encourage the industry to process it locally.

In short, the country is saying that if you want its resources, you are going to have to create jobs and process nickel locally or even produce the battery cells in the country.

The strategy has been working with LG Energy signing a massive ~$10 billion deal to make batteries in Indonesia. CATL also announced a large investment in battery production in the country.

LG Energy and CATL are both suppliers of battery cells for Tesla, but now it looks like the automaker getting directly involved in Indonesia is back in the cards.

A new round of talks with Tesla, and Musk meets President Jokowi

After a year without new information on Tesla’s plans in Indonesia, the rumor mill is back in operation amid a new round of talks between Tesla and officials.

During an interview last week, CEO Elon Musk was directly asked if Tesla plans a battery or cathode factory in Indonesia, and the CEO refused to comment.

Now we learned that while he was asked that question, Tesla actually had representatives in Indonesia to talk with government officials (via Reuters):

Representatives from Tesla were in Indonesia last week for meetings regarding a potential battery-related investment, Indonesian officials and two people familiar with the talks have said.

Rumors that the two parties are now closer to a deal are ramping up as Musk then met President Jokowi over the weekend.

They have reportedly met at Tesla Gigafactory Texas before Musk invited the president to visit SpaceX’s facilities in Boca Chica, Texas:

Representatives for the president said that they discussed “a potential investment in Indonesia’s nickel industry and supply of batteries for electric vehicles.”

Musk previously said that Tesla aims to announce locations for new factories by the end of the year. -https://electrek.co/

Not India, Elon Musk May Choose Indonesia As Tesla’s Production Hub In Asia

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As India continues to hum and haw over electric vehicle import duty cuts sought by Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO is now headed to meet Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo as he scouts sites to finalize Tesla’s new production hub in Asia.

Earlier this week, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, who is the coordinating minister of investment and maritime affairs in Indonesia, said the Indonesian President plans to meet Musk on the sidelines of the summit of Southeast Asian leaders in Washington later this week, as per a CNBC report.

Notably, Indonesia is the top producer of nickel, which is a key metal for batteries.

In recent months, Indonesia has grabbed the attention of several battery and car manufacturers through its variety of incentives.

With a friendly policy bolstering the country’s EV goals, manufacturers have started committing billions of dollars. LG Energy Solution, along with other companies, is investing about $9 billion to set up a supply chain,  from mining to manufacturing, in the country. Together with Hyundai Motor Co., the firm is developing a battery plant, too, as per a Bloomberg report.

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Also Read: This Indonesian Student’s ‘$3 NFT Selfies’ Are Now Worth Millions!

All these recent moves surrounding Southeast Asia’s largest economy Indonesia shows how important it is to be close to the source of raw materials that feed into manufacturing. If there’s one thing the past year of logistical screw-ups and delays has shown the industry, it’s that proximity is key.

And Tesla certainly knows this well. It has created large manufacturing hubs in China and now Germany, both of which countries are known for their prowess in industrial production and policies that will help sell their cars.

Missed Opportunity For India?

If Elon Musk decides to finalize Indonesia as Tesla’s production hub in Asia, it is fair to say that it will be a missed opportunity for India.

Earlier this month, Adar Poonawalla, who is the CEO of the Serum Institute of India, had tweeted that putting capital into making cars in India would be the “best investment” Musk would “ever make.” 

Last month, India’s Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari too had invited Musk to manufacture e-vehicles in India, highlighting the present conducive environment for automobile manufacturing in the country. However, he said building cars in China and selling them in India cannot be a “good proposition”.

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