(Reuters) -Tesla Inc is contemplating organising a lithium refinery on the gulf coast of Texas, because it appears to safe provide of the important thing part utilized in batteries amid surging demand for electrical autos.
The potential battery-grade lithium hydroxide refining facility, which Tesla (NASDAQ:) touted as the primary of its variety in North America, will course of “uncooked ore materials right into a usable state for battery manufacturing”, the corporate mentioned in an software filed with the Texas Comptroller’s Workplace.
A choice to put money into Texas will even be based mostly on the power to acquire reduction on native property taxes, Tesla mentioned.
Chief Govt Officer Elon Musk has mentioned beforehand that Tesla might need to enter the mining and refining trade immediately at scale as lithium costs surge.
Musk has additionally been vocal concerning the want for extra gamers within the lithium refining trade. “You’ll be able to’t lose. It is licensed to print cash,” he had mentioned on the firm’s second-quarter earnings name.
Securing a gradual provide of battery parts is seen vital for Tesla because it faces fierce competitors within the fast-growing marketplace for electrical vehicles.
If accredited, building may start within the fourth quarter of 2022 and would attain business manufacturing by the top of 2024, Tesla mentioned within the software dated Aug. 22.
Beneath the plan, Tesla will ship the ultimate product from the refinery by truck and rail to numerous Tesla battery manufacturing websites supporting the provision chain for large-scale and electrical car batteries.
Tesla additionally mentioned it will use much less hazardous reagents and create usable byproducts as in comparison with the traditional course of.
Lithium costs have skyrocketed this 12 months resulting from surging demand from the auto sector. China stays the world’s largest lithium processor, although proposed rival initiatives in the USA and European Union have confronted a variety of setbacks.
If Tesla’s plan goes forward, the carmaker may turn into the primary within the sector to take a position immediately in lithium refining as automakers scramble to sew up offers with miners and refiners.
Battery makers are additionally trying to improve manufacturing in the USA, the place a shift towards EVs may improve because the nation implements stricter regulation and tightens tax credit score eligibility.
Tesla itself signed a five-year provide take care of Australia’s Liontown Sources earlier this 12 months, whereas rival EV makers Stellantis and Byd have invested in miners around the globe.
CATL, the world’s largest battery maker, has additionally taken stakes in lithium miners.