Indonesia completes first EV battery cell plant

Construction of Indonesia's first battery cell plant for electric vehicles has been completed in West Java.

The plant is a joint venture between South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution.

A ceremony was held on Wednesday, with President Joko Widodo on hand to mark the occasion.

Hyundai Motor has been producing EVs in Indonesia since 2022. It says the plant will make battery cells for these vehicles.

Indonesia has some of the largest nickel reserves in the world. Nickel is a key material for producing the batteries.

The government banned exports of raw nickel in 2020 to boost development of its own industries. It wants to process the metal domestically and add value in other ways.

Joko said he hopes the plant will help Indonesia become a production hub for EVs and related industries. He says his country can compete with others, as it has ample nickel, bauxite and copper.

He said the ecosystem for EV production starts with the raw materials, and includes the battery factories and the EVs themselves. He said his country has everything it needs, and looks forward to further investments.

Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, Thailand is also trying to attract EV-related industries. The Chinese manufacturer BYD has set up a production base there, and started local manufacturing this week.