Tesla urges entrepreneurs to enter the lithium mining business, bringing not only benefits to the world, but also enormous benefits to themselves. Elon Musk explained that for someone who likes to mint money, the lithium business will be ideal.
During the Q1 2022 Earnings Call, many important issues were raised, including the supply of materials for the production of batteries. Although at the moment Tesla has several long-term contracts that provide supplies at affordable prices, sooner or later they will run out and the manufacturer will have to look for new ones. In a world where EVs have started to develop rapidly, it is getting more and more difficult, and the cost of materials will continue to rise.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk explained that it is clear that the Earth needs batteries to move to sustainable energy faster, but cell output is a fundamental limiting factor. For now, the question is, at what rate can lithium-ion cells increase the gigawatt-hours per year?
In response to this question, Musk said "that will move as fast as the slowest, least lucky element of the whole supply chain" and today it is lithium. Although lithium is a very common element, it is not easy to extract and refine. He explained that you can get it with sludge or the clay, but for this, you need to go through a whole series of refinement steps. It needs a lot of industrial equipment to make lithium ore into lithium that can be used as lithium hydroxide or lithium carbonate in the battery cell.
Musk said he encourages entrepreneurs who are looking for opportunities to get into the lithium business. He emphasized that the lithium margins right now are practically software margins. He pointed out that the spot lithium price is 10 times higher than the cost of extraction, which is an impressive difference and shows great potential. Musk said that those who enjoy minting money would make ideal entrepreneurs in the lithium mining business.
"Can some -- can more people please get into the lithium business? It's -- do you like minting money? Well, the lithium business is for you."
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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.