Tesla Discusses Nickel Investment Opportunities with Indonesia

Indonesian President Widodo met Tesla Chief Executive Musk on Saturday in Texas to discuss potential investments and technology. The meeting came after a round of discussions on a potential investment in Indonesia’s nickel industry and supply of electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

Tesla representatives visited Indonesia last week to meet with Indonesian officials about a potential battery related investment.

Indonesia has been trying to secure a deal with Tesla for battery investment for years, and it could potentially include Musk’s SpaceX aerospace company as well.

Following his visit to Texas, Widodo invited Musk to visit Indonesia in November when the country will host a G20 summit in Bali.

Musk said there is room for partnership and emphasized Indonesia’s potential.

Widodo aims to develop a full domestic EV supply chain from making nickel to producing battery components and assembling EVs, as Indonesia has the world’s biggest nickel reserves. In the past, he has also urged Musk to consider a rocket launch site in Indonesia.

Two deals over the past month have given Widodo new hope ro develop an EV industry at a time when automakers try to secure supplies for battery materials and reduce reliance on China.

A consortium led by South Korea’s LG Energy Solution, the global No. 2 maker of EV batteries, announced plans last month to invest $9 billion in Indonesia as part of a deal that would include everything from nickel refining to producing battery cells in Indonesia.

LG’s larger rival, China-based Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), a Tesla supplier, announced a $9-billion Indonesia investment in April.

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