fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Exclusive: Tesla Expects Global Shortage of Electric Vehicle Battery Minerals – Sources

It never ceases to amaze me how special interest groups who push for more renewable energy also oppose mining for copper, nickel, and cobalt in Minnesota. These sources of energy require enormous amounts of materials, but where will they come from if not Minnesota? Countries with few, if any, protections for the environment or miners.

Some “environmental justice,” eh?

The following article originally appeared in Reuters: 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tesla Inc expects global shortages of nickel, copper and other electric-vehicle battery minerals down the road due to underinvestment in the mining sector, the company’s global supply manager for battery metals told an industry conference on Thursday, according to two sources.

The company, a major minerals consumer, has rarely talked publicly about its views on the metals industry. Copper, nickel, lithium and related minerals are key components used to make electric-vehicle batteries and other parts.

Sarah Maryssael, Tesla’s global supply manager for battery metals, told a closed-door Washington conference of miners, regulators and lawmakers that the automaker sees a shortage of key EV minerals coming, according to the sources.

According to a Tesla spokesman, the comments were industry-specific and referring to the long-term supply challenges that may occur with regards to these metals.

The copper industry has suffered from years of underinvestment, and it is now working feverishly to develop new mines and bring fresh supply online as the electrification trend envelops the global economy. Freeport-McMoRan Inc, the world’s largest publicly traded copper producer, is expanding in the United States and Indonesia.

Electric cars use twice as much copper as internal combustion engines. So-called smart-home systems – such as Alphabet Inc’s Nest thermostat and Amazon.com Inc’s Alexa personal assistant – will consume about 1.5 million tonnes of copper by 2030, up from 38,000 tonnes today, according to data from consultancy BSRIA.

All that will make the red metal – and other minerals – scarcer commodities, which worries Tesla.

Maryssael added, according to the sources, that Tesla will continue to focus more on nickel, part of a plan by Chief Executive Elon Musk to use less cobalt in battery cathodes. Cobalt is primarily mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and some extraction techniques – especially those using child labor – have made its use deeply unpopular across the battery industry, especially with Musk.

Maryssael told the conference, hosted by commodity pricing tracker Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, that there is “huge potential” to partner with mines in Australia or the United States, according to the sources.

Australia late last year signed a preliminary deal with the United States to support joint research and development of minerals deemed critical to the U.S. economy.

The conference, attended by more than 100 people, featured speakers from the U.S. Department of State and Department of Energy, as well as Standard Lithium Ltd, ioneer Ltd and other companies working to develop U.S. lithium mines.

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • No Safe Spaces: American Experiment Night at the Movies

    Location: The Parkway Theater, 4818 Chicago Ave , Minneapolis, MN 55417

    Join Center of the American Experiment for a SNEAK PEAK of the movie No Safe Spaces, followed by Q&A with the film’s director, Justin Folk. What happens on campus doesn’t stay on campus. Once upon a time, our university was the ultimate marketplace of ideas. Today, college campuses are the most dangerous places for viewpoints and dissent. Trigger warnings and safe spaces are proliferating. The First Amendment and intellectual freedom are disappearing. This disturbing movement is now extending beyond colleges and into the real world. How long until we are all punished for thinking dangerous thoughts? The free exchange of ideas is the…

    Register Now