Indonesia’s EV battery aspirations unearth mining waste problems – by Ursula Florene ( – January 14, 2021)

By catering to the global hunger for EVs and its domestic economic growth, Indonesia risks destroying its own environment.

Indonesia is one of the world’s top producers of battery minerals and the first global producer of nickel, an essential component to produce lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. That places the country at the core of the electric vehicle (EV) revolution.

Home to 25% of the world’s nickel resources, Indonesia also has rich resources of cobalt and copper, other essential minerals for battery production. Based on its assets, the country is developing its own EV industry and has plans to become a global EV battery production hub.

Under President Joko Widodo’s administration, Indonesia is set to begin EV domestic production by 2021 or 2022 with the goal of exporting 200,000 EVs by 2025, or about 20% of the estimated total of exported cars.

The average price of an electric vehicle in Indonesia, according to Association of Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers (Gaikindo), is IDR 600 million, or USD 42,600. That means the exports could yield annual revenues reaching USD 8.52 billion four years from now.

However, as Indonesia’s government speeds up the development of battery-powered EVs, rolling out initiatives to boost the industry, and welcoming more investment and mining companies, it must also deal with the waste and environmental impact that a robust EV industry generates.

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