Tesla would possibly get into the enterprise of mining minerals utilized in electrical automobile batteries if it needs to develop 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 top of 2020. He stated these plans have been depending on Tesla’s potential to fabricate lots 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 acquire.”
Tesla’s huge manufacturing facility in Sparks, Nevada was constructed to develop world battery capability, and in flip cut back the price of electrical automobiles. The plant, known as Gigafactory 1, produces Mannequin three electrical motors and battery packs, along with Tesla’s power storage merchandise, Powerwall and Powerpack. Panasonic, its most necessary associate as a provider and associate 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 facility manufacturing. As soon as Tesla will increase manufacturing to a “very excessive degree,” it’ll “look additional down the availability chain and get into the mining enterprise, I don’t know, possibly somewhat bit at the very least,” Musk exclaimed.
“We are going to do no matter now we have to do to make sure that we will scale on the quickest fee attainable,” 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 business 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 develop in america and Indonesia.
It’s attainable that Tesla will concentrate on nickel mining, a mineral that Musk has pushed the corporate to make use of extra of in lieu of cobalt.