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Indonesia president wants Tesla to make electric cars in country, says report

Indonesia had previously wooed Tesla for investment in its nickel industry, looking to produce and supply batteries for its EVs.

Reuters
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Indonesia's President Joko Widodo. Photo: AFP
Indonesia's President Joko Widodo. Photo: AFP

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has urged electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla to manufacture its cars, as well as batteries, in the country, in comments made to Bloomberg News on Thursday.

Indonesia had previously wooed Tesla for investment in its nickel industry, looking to produce and supply batteries for its EVs.

Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, said in an interview that Indonesia wants a "huge ecosystem of electric cars", rather than simply draw on its natural resources to make batteries.

He also said Indonesia was considering imposing a tax on nickel exports this year to boost revenue. Officials have previously said this could come as soon as the third quarter. 

Indonesian officials have said Tesla has struck deals worth about US$5 billion to buy nickel products from the resource-rich country, and signed a five-year contract with nickel processing companies operating out of Morowali in Sulawesi island. The nickel materials will be used in Tesla's lithium batteries.

Jokowi met with Tesla founder Elon Musk earlier in May in an effort to drum up investment prospects and invited him to visit Indonesia in November.

Tesla representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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