Tesla secures nickel supply from the commodity production giant BHP. The manufacturer seeks to secure the supply of one of the most valuable materials for the production of batteries for their EVs.
BHP's Nickel West division will supply nickel from its mines in Western Australia. The two companies also agreed to work together to improve the resilience of the battery supply chain and identify ways to reduce carbon emissions from their respective energy storage operations in conjunction with renewables. The amount of material that will be supplied by Tesla under the deal was not disclosed. Industry analysts Benchmark Minerals estimated the deal with Tesla could be worth up to 18,000 tons of nickel annually.
Nickel is a key mineral in Tesla's next-generation lithium-ion batteries. At Battery Day 2020, Musk stated that the automaker has developed a high nickel and cobalt-free cathode. This allows not only to obtain a higher energy density but also to eliminate cobalt, which is often controversially mined, from their batteries.
Tesla also announced that it aims to increase battery cell production over the next decade, aiming to produce 100-gigawatt hours of batteries by 2022 and up to three terawatt-hours per year by 2030. Therefore, the manufacturer urged suppliers to develop as many nickel mines as possible, promising to grant a giant contract for a long period of time if they mine the metal efficiently and in an environmentally friendly manner. BHP claims its operation is one of the most sustainable in the world. The company said that up to 50% of the electricity to power one of its nickel refineries would come from solar energy resources.
Earlier this year, the automaker announced a partnership with a nickel producer in the French Pacific territory, New Caledonia. Also, Tesla Chairman Robyn Denholm recently confirmed that the company is going to buy about $1 billion of battery minerals a year from Australia.
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Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.