‘The metal of the future’
Lithium has long been heralded as the ‘metal of the future’, and no one knows this better than Elon Musk. As the CEO of Tesla, Inc., Musk has directed substantial investment towards lithium, a crucial element in the production of electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
Tesla’s need for lithium is projected to rise exponentially in the coming years, driven by Musk’s ambitious plans for EV proliferation. As of 2023, the company has moved beyond merely purchasing lithium batteries and into a more strategic position, investing heavily in lithium mining and extraction operations.
In 2022, Tesla unveiled its lithium clay mining project in Nevada, USA, promising a less invasive and more sustainable lithium extraction process. The venture marked Tesla’s first foray into lithium mining, reducing its dependence on external suppliers while fostering a more sustainable supply chain.
Musk has also sought partnerships with various lithium producers worldwide, significantly expanding Tesla’s lithium supply chain. This vertical integration strategy ensures the stable supply of lithium, crucial for meeting the growing demand for Tesla’s EVs.
Musk’s investment in lithium does not stop at mining and supply chain enhancement. Tesla has been making significant strides in battery technology innovations, like the 4680 cells announced at the Battery Day event, promising greater energy density and lower costs.
Elon Musk’s actions reflect a clear understanding that lithium is more than just a commodity; it is a strategic asset. The extent of Tesla’s investment in lithium, directly and indirectly, is a testament to this strategic importance and the pivotal role lithium will play in the global energy transition.