During the Q2 2022 Earnings Call, Elon Musk urged miners to ramp up lithium mining and refining as it is a business where it is impossible to lose. Tesla is working on lithium refining activity because the best way to learn how to accelerate something is to do it yourself.
What we often underestimate when we talk about Tesla is that the company really made the world start switching to electric vehicles. This is exactly the case; if not for Tesla, the automotive giants would continue to produce millions of gasoline burners each year, which would pollute the environment. Along the way, the manufacturer made many breakthroughs that kept pushing competitors into the race, spurring development in the right direction. Now Tesla is thinking ahead again and is trying to prevent a collapse in the world of batteries. According to the company's CEO, Elon Musk, the manufacturer is ready to enter the business if the industry cannot expand quickly enough.
During the Q2 2022 Earnings Call, investors were again asking about lithium, the main metal for battery production. Musk and other key company representatives made several clarifications, recalling that it is a very common metal, but due to the fact that there are not enough players in its mining and refining, its prices are extremely high. Musk once again urged miners to enter the business, saying that it is impossible to lose in this business.
“I would like to once again urge entrepreneurs to enter the lithium refining business. The mining is relatively easy. The refining is much harder. So, the lithium is actually a very common – sort of very – like lithium pretty much everywhere. But you have to refine the lithium into battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide, which has to be extremely high purity. So, it is basically like minting money right now. There is like software margins in lithium processing right now. So, I would really like to encourage, once again, entrepreneurs to enter the lithium refining business. You can’t lose. It’s licensed to print money.”
SVP, Powertrain and Energy Engineering at Tesla, Drew Baglino, explained that the company is working very closely with its suppliers to increase their capabilities. In fact, the problem of lithium deficiency does not threaten in the next couple of years, but if we look in the future, then, given the growth in the number of EVs, in 10 years the world will face a shortage of metal for the production of batteries, if miners do not start acting now. He said that Tesla is ready to step into the game to accelerate this growth and is already making its own investment in a facility in Texas. In addition, the company is working on refining lithium because “the best way to learn how to accelerate something is to do it yourself.”
“The other thing I would say is – we are working with our suppliers to ramp their capability as quickly as possible. And it’s not like we have a problem in the next year or 2 years to – specifically to your question. But when we look 10 years out, yes, we need to do more to accelerate the growth. And that is why we are making our own investments, like we are building a facility here in Texas. This already is going up, you can see it in the flyovers. We are working on lithium refining activity as well ourselves because the best way to learn how to accelerate something is to do it yourself. So, these are the things we are doing to move it all forward.”
© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
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.