JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia has asked Chinese carmaker Geely Automotive Holdings to help it build a homegrown electric car by 2025 or 2026, a senior minister said on Tuesday, adding that the automaker has agreed.
Geely did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
“I have offered Geely, do you want to make cars in Indonesia, but be an Indonesian brand and do the research in Indonesia? They said yes,” Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, who oversees regulations on natural resources and investment, told a seminar.
The offer would be packaged with Indonesia supplying nickel ore to produce electric vehicle (EV) batteries, but the research must be led by Indonesia, he said.
Indonesia has been trying to court EV makers to invest in the country, offering access to its rich nickel reserves, a key component of EV batteries. But it has had mixed success so far.
On Monday, Vietnamese EV company VinFast said it plans to invest around $1.2 billion in Indonesia in the long term, including for a plant that is targeted to start production in 2026.
Last month, Southeast Asia’s largest economy saw investment commitments in EV production by China’s Hozon New Energy Automobile and Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors.
But authorities’ efforts to win investment from U.S Tesla and China’s BYD Group, two of the world’s biggest EV makers, have yet to materialise.
(Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy and Stefanno Sulaiman; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)