Tesla needs nickel to dominate the car industry. It just signed a $5 billion deal with the metal’s largest source – by Nicholas Gordon (Fortune Magazine – August 11, 2022)


If Elon Musk wants to sell 20 million cars a year by 2030, he’ll need a lot of nickel—a key metal used in the electric batteries that power Tesla cars. And now, after years of wooing, the largest source of the metal seems to have won the Tesla CEO over.

On Monday, an Indonesian cabinet minister told CNBC Indonesia that Tesla had agreed to buy $5 billion worth of nickel products from the Southeast Asian country over the next five years. Indonesia is the world’s biggest source of nickel, with about 23.7% of the world’s reserves, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. (The U.S. imports most of its nickel—which is also used to make alloys like stainless steel—from Canada, Norway, Finland, and Australia).

Luhut Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment, told CNBC Indonesia that Tesla could buy even more from the country, saying that officials “are still in constant negotiation with Tesla.” Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla is hungry for metals like nickel as it tries to ramp up electric vehicle production. Some of the batteries used in Tesla EV models consist of 80% nickel. But it’s unclear as of now if the Indonesia deal fulfills Musk’s 2020 promise to award “a giant contract for a long period of time” to anyone who could “mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way.”

For the rest of this article: https://fortune.com/2022/08/11/tesla-elon-musk-nickel-indonesia-deal-jokowi-tsingshan/