Indonesia’s American EV dreams shunted into the slow lane – by Andy Home (Reuters – November 20, 2023)

LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo has made no secret of his ambition to leverage the country’s vast nickel resources to become an Asian hub for manufacturing electric vehicles (EV). He has been wooing Tesla (TSLA.O) for the last two years, offering the U.S. car maker incentives ranging from tax breaks to nickel mining concessions.

Now Widodo also needs a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States for Indonesian materials to qualify for the generous EV subsidies available under the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

In September Indonesia asked Washington for talks on a limited trade deal covering EV battery inputs such as nickel and cobalt.

What it got after last week’s bilateral meeting was a commitment “to develop a critical minerals action plan (…) with a view toward establishing the foundation to launch future negotiations on a critical minerals agreement”.

For the rest of this article: