By on June 27, 2019

Having recently announced plans to “popularize” battery electric vehicles, Toyota now expects half of its global volume to stem from electrified cars by 2025. That’s five years sooner than originally promised.

Toyota may seem perpetually averse to change but it has been making a lot of moves behind the scenes to ensure it’s at the forefront of a shifting market while also trying to future proof itself in the event that electrification winds up being a dead end. The plan is rather complex and, as I don’t want to re-write a 900-word article, I would like to redirect you to the relevant information.

However, as nuanced as Toyota’s overall strategy may be, the company is still going to need to spend truckloads of cash to remain in the game. With that in mind, the Japanese automaker appears to be investing $2 billion to develop electric vehicles in Indonesia over the next four years — with hybrids being first on the docket. 

Although it wasn’t Toyota that broke the news; Reuters got the skinny from Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan. According to a press release, Pandjaitan and Toyota president Akio Toyoda just shook on the deal in Osaka.

“From 2019 to 2023, we will progressively increase our investment to 28.3 trillion rupiah ($2 billion),” Toyoda was quoted as saying in the release, adding that Indonesia’s preexisting commitments to EV development made it an obvious candidate for investment.

We imagine Toyota’s current business relationships within the country and its fast-growing automotive sector also played a factor. Indonesia has been aggressively increasing production capacity over the last few years and is eager to have manufacturers move in and take advantage of its burgeoning industrial abilities and access to raw materials.

From Reuters:

Indonesia, the region’s largest economy, has plentiful reserves of nickel laterite ore, a vital ingredient in the lithium-ion batteries used to power EVs, and has been making a push to attract foreign carmakers.

Officials are betting Indonesia, which is already Southeast Asia’s second-largest car production hub, can become a major regional player in lithium battery production and feed the fast-rising demand for EVs.

The country announced earlier in 2019 plans to introduce a fiscal scheme that will offer tax cuts to EV battery producers and automakers, as well as preferential tariff agreements with other countries that have a high EV demand.

Last year, Mitsubishi said it wanted to work with Indonesia to examine whether or not the country has a good spot to build electric vehicles. In December, Hyundai Motor Co. went one better and announced it was already planning on producing EV inside the country and would be moving some assembly out of China as a result.

We’ll be waiting on Toyota to see what the full scope of this $2-billion injection entails. Thus far, the company has made no official comment on the matter and the release only specifies the sizable investment will advance “gradually through the development of hybrid vehicles.”


[Image: NeydtStock/Shutterstock]

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13 Comments on “Toyota Spending $2 Billion to Develop Electric Cars in Indonesia...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Because they are fueled by gasoline, hybrids are not electric cars.

    Calling a hybrid an EV is like saying a Stanley Steamer ran on water.

    • 0 avatar

      + 100.

      The word “Electrification” has become a deliberate obfuscation. The general public think it means pure battery electric vehicles, not a gasoline engine with electrical assistance. Volvo is amongst the worst offenders. When they announced their plan for “100% electrification” of the Volvo fleet by 2021, buried in the release was the fact that only 5% would be pure battery electrics by this time. Why auto manufacturers would want to deliberately mislead consumers and raise expectations they cannot satisfy is beyond me.

    • 0 avatar

      Stanley Steamer ran on water didn’t it? It still runs on water just carpet cleaning this time.

      Water is a precious resource on planets and Moon to be used as a rocket fuel in future manned and womanned missions.

    • 0 avatar

      I still tend to think of my cordless drill as “electric,” even if it is ultimately powered by some fossil fuel burning engine a few hundred miles away….

      It’s pretty much all solar charged battery power anyway. Just with the batteries primarily located in Texas and Saudi Arabia….

      More practically, if a car has a meaningfully powerful electric propulsion engine, it’s pretty much an electric car. Where the electricity to power it is generated, is somewhat tangential.

      • 0 avatar

        As someone that rejected a hybrid in favor of a full electric, electric means not having to haul around a useless gasoline-fueled lump of metal as a security blanket I don’t need. Don’t want the extra weight or the maintenance that goes with it. After putting so far 85k miles on a 100-mile range EV, I definitely don’t need a fossil-fueled crutch once I move to a 300+ mile range (or even up and coming 400) EV. Idiots like BMWs Klaus Frölich can put out EV-wannabe cars, but many of us aren’t going to buy them.

  • avatar

    In other news: A lumpen female kindergarten teacher was seen shopping at a Michaels Arts and Crafts last Tuesday.

  • avatar

    Let’s step back and reflect on what a missed opportunity for a once great company named

    General ELECTRIC

    now a shadow of its former self

    • 0 avatar

      Is GE still American?

      I’ll always come at these things as an American— as a disclaimer. Never in a non-sardonic tone— but humanism all the same.

      Back to topic: Your suggestion is a great one, and I’m super into how the ‘American’ facade stores like Wal*Mart and K-Mart/Sears used to sell cheap electronics about 2 decades ago now— plays into this.

      I like Westinghouse as an example, but others might be used to argue.

      Could Westinghouse have enough remaining residential fuse/breaker-boxes to gain a meaningful foothold in the electric car business?

      The cheapest TV in my house is a 10 year-old Westinghouse-branded Chinese 42” that wears the same logo as the 1960s fuse box.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      General Electric is reaping the fruits of the “great” Jack Welch. It’s sad for the decent people there, JW not being one of them. But he took the money and ran.

      • 0 avatar


      • 0 avatar


        Immelt destroyed GE. Head of BO’s Business Roundtable.

        As late as 2011 the NYTimes was lauding Immelt for creating GE in his image. Boy did he. Immelt made terrible deals and basically crashed the company. It was his tenure that got GE removed from the DOW and GE lost most of it’s value.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Many years ago General Electric made a battery powered riding lawn mower. I had a neighbor years ago that had one. Must not have been a large seller since that is the only one I ever saw.

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