Indonesia seeks Geely’s help in developing homegrown electric car

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14th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) Indonesia has approached Chinese automaker Geely Automotive Holdings to collaborate on building a domestically manufactured electric car by 2025 or 2026, according to a senior minister. Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, responsible for natural resources and investment regulations, revealed during a seminar that Geely has agreed to the proposal.

Geely has not responded immediately to Reuters’ request for comment.

Minister Pandjaitan shared that he offered Geely the opportunity to manufacture cars in Indonesia under an Indonesian brand and conduct research within the country. Geely expressed their interest in the proposition.

The Indonesian government intends to pair the offer with the supply of nickel ore, a vital component in electric vehicle (EV) batteries. However, Minister Pandjaitan emphasized that the research and development aspect must be led by Indonesia.

Indonesia has been actively seeking investments from EV manufacturers by leveraging its abundant nickel reserves. Nickel is crucial in producing batteries for electric vehicles. However, the country has experienced varying degrees of success in its efforts thus far.

In related news, Vietnamese EV company VinFast announced on Monday its plans to invest approximately US$1.2 billion in Indonesia for the long term. This investment includes the establishment of a production plant slated to commence operations in 2026.

Moreover, Indonesia recently received commitments for EV production investments from Hozon New Energy Automobile of China and Mitsubishi Motors of Japan.

Despite these developments, Indonesia’s attempts to attract investments from major EV manufacturers like US-based Tesla and China’s BYD Group have yet to materialize. Authorities are continuing their efforts to secure these investments.