Indonesia has asked a Chinese carmaker to help it build a homegrown electric vehicle (EV) by 2025 or 2026, according to a senior minister.
The Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, said on September 14 that Indonesia is currently attracting EV manufacturers to develop in the country, with one of them is Geely, one of China's biggest EV manufacturers.
He mentioned, "We have spoken with Geely for a few months, and two days ago we offered the company to conduct joint research to develop EVs in Indonesia."
The minister noted that Geely was welcoming toward the idea, saying "We are currently discussing the technicalities and the president Jokowi green-lighted the joint research plan."
The offer would be packaged with Indonesia supplying nickel ore to produce EV batteries, but the research must be led by Indonesia, and the EVs must be sold as an Indonesian brand, he said.
According to Luhut, this is the best momentum for Indonesia to own and manufacture its own EVs, considering the rapid global transition from conventional vehicles to EVs. The global market for EVs also surpassed its critical point of 5% - 10%, allowing speedy growth for the EV trade.
Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector also hit a critical point when EVs accounted for 10% of total sales. "This is the chance for Indonesia to produce self-manufactured EVs. With this joint research, we could make a significant leap," he said.
Indonesia has been making efforts to attract EV makers to invest in the country by providing access to its rich nickel reserves, a crucial component of EV batteries. However, the success in its endeavor has been mixed so far.