Like Musk, nickel-rich Indonesia has high electric vehicle ambitions – by Fransiska Nangoy, Gayatri Suroyo and Bernadette Christina (Reuters – February 6, 2023)

JAKARTA, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Armed with the world’s largest reserves of nickel and a ban on the export of nickel ore, Indonesia is making itself indispensable for the electric vehicle industry, which uses the metal extensively.

In just three years, Indonesia has signed more than a dozen deals worth more than $15 billion for battery and electric vehicle production in the country with manufacturers including Hyundai Motor (005380.KS), LG Group (003550.KS) and Foxconn (2317.T).

Next up is the mammoth Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), the world’s most valuable automaker. President Joko Widodo has pulled out all the stops to convince CEO Elon Musk to manufacture electric vehicles or batteries in the sprawling Southeast Asian archipelago.

“I’m very confident this industry will grow quickly, will grow very fast,” the president, popularly known as Jokowi, said in an interview last week. Indonesia has a total of 21 million tonnes in proven reserves with nickel content, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That is nearly a quarter of the world’s reserves.

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