Tesla may get into the enterprise of mining minerals utilized in electrical automobile batteries if it desires to increase its product lineup and scale manufacturing, CEO Elon Musk stated through the firm’s annual shareholder assembly.
The feedback got here after Musk talked about plans for an electrical pickup truck and an goal to start manufacturing of its all-electric Class eight semi truck by the tip of 2020. He stated these plans had been depending on Tesla’s capability to fabricate a variety of lithium-ion battery cells.
“There’s not a lot level in including product complexity if we don’t have sufficient batteries,” he stated. “That’s complexity, however with out achieve.”
Tesla’s large manufacturing unit in Sparks, Nev. was constructed to increase world battery capability, and in flip cut back the price of electrical automobiles. The plant, referred to as Gigafactory 1, produces Mannequin three electrical motors and battery packs, along with Tesla’s vitality storage merchandise, Powerwall and Powerpack. Panasonic, its most necessary companion as a provider and companion in that venture, makes the cells. Tesla then makes use of the cells to make battery packs for its electrical automobiles.
For now, Tesla plans to match product rollout with scaling of manufacturing unit manufacturing. As soon as Tesla will increase manufacturing to a “very excessive degree,” it’s going to “look additional down the provision chain and get into the mining enterprise, I don’t know, perhaps slightly bit at the least,” Musk exclaimed.
“We’ll do no matter we have now to do to make sure that we will scale on the quickest charge doable,” he added.
Concern concerning the provide of nickel, copper, lithium and associated minerals utilized in electrical batteries is just not new. Final month, Tesla’s head of minerals procurement stated throughout a closed assembly at an trade convention that the corporate expects world shortages of nickel, copper and lithium within the close to future, Reuters reported.
Whereas a lot of the eye has targeted on lithium provides, copper and nickel are additionally susceptible. Years of underinvestment have depleted copper provides, prompting firms like Freeport-McMoRan to increase in the USA and Indonesia.
It’s doable that Tesla will deal with nickel mining, a mineral that Musk has pushed the corporate to make use of extra of in lieu of cobalt.