Tesla may get into mining lithium, says CEO Elon Musk
Tesla chief Elon Musk highlighted the possibility that Tesla might get into mining lithium which is a key element in manufacturing lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Musk mentioned Tesla may be interested in lithium mining and refining it in the usual manner, directly and at a large scale.
Tesla CEO posted on Twitter, “Price of lithium has gone to insane levels! Tesla might actually have to get into the mining & refining directly at scale, unless costs improve." He shared that the prices of lithium have increased multiple times this year reaching over $78,000. Even if one doesn't focus on the numbers, the general trend is that the cost of lithium will continue to increase.
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Musk mentioned in his tweet there is no scarcity of lithium as it is available almost everywhere on Earth, however, the problem lies in the pace of extraction. The supply of the metal is lagging behind the demand due to various global challenges, uncertainty and pressures. Musk had also earlier stated about nickel which is another important element in producing lithium-ion batteries. Stating it as the new gold, nickel too has observed a surge in its prices. As per a report by InsideEVs, the rising price of nickel is being considered the main reason for increasing the cost of Tesla EVs which are powered by batteries with nickel-rich cathode.
Tesla recently inaugurated its Texas Gigafactory in Austin last week. The much-awaited Tesla Cybertruck was also showcased at the event with upgraded features. Musk also confirmed that the electric pickup truck will enter production early next year. The Tesla Cybertruck was first unveiled in 2019 and since then its production has gotten delayed due to various reasons.