At the annual meeting of shareholders of the companyTesla CEO Ilon Mask said that the company could start mining minerals, which are used in batteries for electric vehicles, if they want to expand their product line and increase production. The comments came after Musk announced plans to build an electric pickup and set a goal to start production of an all-electric Class 8 truck before the end of 2020. Musk said that these plans depend on Tesla’s ability to produce many lithium-ion cells.
"It makes no sense to increase the complexity of the product, if we do not have enough batteries," said Musk. "This is a complexity that will not bring benefits."
Tesla will mine its own minerals
Tesla's huge factory in Sparks, Nevada, wasbuilt to expand global battery capacity and, in turn, reduce the cost of electric cars. This Gigafactory 1 plant produces electric motors and batteries for the Model 3, as well as Powerwall and Powerpack energy storage devices. Panasonic, the most important partner in this project, is making Li-ion cells. Then from these elements are collected batteries for Tesla electric vehicles,
At the moment, Tesla is planning to agreeproduction output with scaling production at the plant. As soon as the company increases production to “very high level”, it “will consider the option to go down lower in the supply chain and get into the mining business, I don’t know, at least a little,” said Musk.
"We will do everything that depends on us in order to ensure the fastest possible scaling."
Problems with the supply of nickel, copper, lithium andThe associated minerals used in electric batteries are far from new. Last month, Tesla’s head of the mineral purchasing department said at a closed session of the industry conference that the company was expecting a global shortage of nickel, copper and lithium in the near future.
Although the focus is on supplying lithium,copper and nickel are in the zone of vulnerability. Years of underinvestment have led to a reduction in copper supplies, which has prompted many to independently enter this industry in the United States and Indonesia. It is possible that Tesla will also focus on nickel mining. This mineral Mask forces the company to use more than cobalt.
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