Tesla Needs to Make Cars in Indonesia, Not Just Batteries: President

President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, dubbed Jokowi locally, has asked Tesla to build EVs in the country, rather than just batteries, according to a report from Bloomberg on Thursday.

The country also says it’s willing to wait until Tesla CEO Elon Musk is convinced that the country is more than its resources.

In the interview with Bloomberg, Jokowi said, “What we want is the electric car, not the battery. For Tesla, we want them to build electric cars in Indonesia.” Jokowi continued, “We want a huge ecosystem of electric cars.”

Jokowi also made similar requests to automakers such as Ford, Hyundai, Toyota and Suzuki, showing suit with Indonesia’s hopes to be more than just a raw material supplier or component manufacturer.

Indonesia has nearly a quarter of the world’s nickel reserves, and the Southeast Asian country has also become a huge producer in the past few years. Companies like Tesla are in need of high volumes of nickel amidst high demand, making the country a significant player in the electric vehicle industry.

When asked about what was preventing the deal, Jokowi said, “It’s still a discussion.” Jokowi continued. “Everything needs time. I don’t want to be quick with no result. It needs intense communication and the result will show.”

Tesla signed a $5 billion nickel processing deal with Indonesia earlier this month. The contract includes a five-year contract for two nickel products from companies based out of Morowali and Sulawesi.