Tesla could be building a gigafactory in Indonesia after all

tesla could
Image by noblige | Bigstockphoto

Tesla could be setting up a gigafactory in Indonesia, according to various media outlets who have quoted the Minister of Investment and Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board head Bahlil Lahadalia.

This would mark a shift in Tesla’s plans, as just a few months ago it was reported that the company’s plans to build a facility in Indonesia had fallen through.

Lahadalia has confirmed that Tesla will enter the country this year, but did not provide any specifics, except for the location: an industrial complex in the Central Java province.

“But I can’t announce the month yet. Let’s wait, because we haven’t signed an agreement yet. How much investment is still being kept secret, still waiting. But this is good stuff, big stuff,” the Minister said, as quoted by Benar News.

If Tesla does indeed go ahead with this plan, it would be a major investment in Indonesia’s economy and could help the country meet its goal of EVs making up 20% of vehicles in the country by 2025.

A report on Paultan.org notes that building a vehicle plant will make sense for Tesla if it wants to better integrate its supply chain. This could also be a major boon for electric vehicle imports in Indonesia and other countries in the region, including nearby Malaysia and the Philippines.

Currently, only Singapore has an official Tesla retail presence in Southeast Asia, but with a gigafactory in the region, that could soon change. In Malaysia, Paultan.org highlights that there is a plan to explore starting with supercharger sites, “presumably to support Singaporean Tesla vehicles driving on Malaysian roads.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk exchanged some pleasantries with President Jokowi Widodo after the US-ASEAN Summit earlier this month. President Jokowi met Musk at the SpaceX launch site in Texas after the meeting.

“We’re going to look closely from the Tesla and SpaceX standpoint to try to do some partnerships in Indonesia. And, like I said, I think the future of Indonesia is very bright. I think we were looking closely to a potential collaboration on many, many fronts,” Musk said in a video.

Indonesia is known for having the biggest reserves of nickel in the world, and Jokowi is determined to develop a local EV industry that can make use of this resource.

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