With his company’s nickel requirements seemingly met well in advance of this year’s market turmoil, Tesla seems to be concentrating on securing its lithium requirements, hinting that it may be forced to enter the lithium mining business.
The company’s “plans” were stated in a tweet from Elon Musk, which is, to be fair, where many ideas end up before they can be implemented or implemented well. The notion, however, drew widespread media attention last week when Musk made the following Twitter statement:
“Tesla might actually have to get into the mining & refining directly at scale, unless costs improve.”
“Price of lithium has gone to insane levels. There is no shortage of the element itself, as lithium is almost everywhere on Earth, but pace of extraction/refinement is slow.” He continued.
Musk was replying to a Tweet that depicted the soaring price of lithium, which has gone from $4,450 per tonne in 2012 to $78,032 (per tonne) in 2022, according to the tweet.
According to statistics from the United States Geological Survey, which is a branch of the United States Department of Interior, there are multiple lithium deposits all across the United States, as reported by CNBC.
Because it is used in EV batteries, lithium is very important in the EV industry. As stated by CNBC, “batteries made with lithium have a high power-to-weight ratio, which is important when dealing with transportation.”
Gene Munster of Loup Ventures said: “What Tesla has done with nickel is a hidden competitive advantage. Tesla continues to be a couple of steps ahead of the rest.”
And Munster is correct in stating that Musk has “repeatedly” expressed anxiety about nickel demand in the company’s larger market, which is predicted to more than triple by 2030.
Consequently, although many of Musk’s “ventures,” which began as Tweets, have failed to materialize, it’s possible that Tesla may end up mining lithium after all…
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