To Become The King of Batteries, Indonesia Must Pass Several Challenges

electric vehicle battery factory in North Maluku
electric vehicle battery factory in North Maluku

The government has several ways to realize the dream of becoming a zero-emission country, one of which is the transition to electric vehicles. The government is also trying to develop the electric vehicle ecosystem. This big target brings hope that Indonesia can become the king of batteries, as the world’s supplier.

The hope of becoming the king of batteries is getting bigger when the government is aggressively conducting downstream mining and banning the export of raw minerals.

However, several challenges must be overcome by Indonesia to realize this big dream.

BUMN Deputy Minister Pahala Mansury said that technology and production were still a big challenge. According to him, the key to realizing this dream is to partner and work together in a win-win solution.

Investment development that is integrated and connected between parties is urgently needed instead of just bringing in technology.

He said downstream nickel into batteries could add up to 55 times the added value. Then, the investment target for incoming battery production reaches US$ 6 billion or close to Rp 90 trillion.

While the challenges from the production side, battery raw materials still need to be imported, even though Indonesia has the sources.

“Bauxite, and alumina, are imported more even though we have bauxite. So we hope that the collaboration between Antam and Inalum will be an effort (downstream) so that bauxite can become alumina,” he said.

Currently, aluminum production in Indonesia is still far from domestic needs. In fact, he said that production only meets a third of the total demand.

He emphasized that downstream is urgently needed. This can open up investment opportunities to build battery facilities.

“Indonesia hopes that the world’s EV centers, or at least Asia, will need more aluminum, batteries, and copper. So these are commodities that are very much owned, and this downstream is encouraging,” he said.

“This is an investment for the future, even though it is difficult now but the benefits will be felt in the next 4-5 years,” he added.