Indonesia navigates subsidies, bottlenecks as it plots route for share of $131b EV market

Indonesia faces tough competition from the world’s biggest electric vehicle markets. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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BATANG, Central Java – Standing against a backdrop of earth movers and red-and-white Indonesian flags in June, President Joko Widodo presided over a ceremony marking the latest milestone in his country’s journey towards becoming an electric vehicle (EV) producing powerhouse.

The occasion commemorated the decision by the EV unit of South Korea’s LG Chem to locate what would be South-east Asia’s biggest battery material processing plant here. The US$2.4 billion (S$3.3 billion) behemoth was set to produce hundreds of thousand of tonnes each year of nickel-cobalt battery material used in EV batteries, from as soon as 2024.

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