Tesla Inc.’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) Battery Day backfired as there was no million-mile battery to show with only a $25,000 car there to show and a series of plans about manufacturing own battery, processing of raw materials, and even mining own lithium.
Tesla taking control of the battery manufacturing process
Some of the plans unveiled seemed genuinely impressive, leaving most experts wondering what direction the EV carmaker may be headed to. The Company’s CEO, Elon Musk, emphasized on cost-cutting of battery by almost 50% instead of getting more miles out of batteries. This means that we could soon have electric vehicles priced at the same price as fossil fuel cars in less than three years. Tesla is planning to get there by taking control of the batteries’ manufacturing stage, which includes basic cells, raw materials processing, and the purchase of lithium resources.
In a post-Battery Day webinar, Tesla’s ex-battery supply chain manager and current Benchmark Mineral Intelligence head Vivas Kumar said that he came out of the day confused regarding what Tesla was doing with the supply chain of the battery. Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s Simon Mopres also weighed in on the initiatives stating that Musk combined true inventions like 4680 and tabless battery cells with things like silicon anodes and Maxwell process and red flags such as nickel and lithium extraction plans. Moores said that with all this, Tesla didn’t send a clear message, and there were more questions raised than answered.
Tesla’s move to consider lithium mining ill-advised
Musk stated that Tesla has taken initial steps for expansion into mining by acquiring rights to a 10,000-acre lithium deposit in Nevada. This mine and the company’s new cathode manufacturing plant based in North America will be two new additions to its growing portfolio of operations and factories.
House Mountain Partners president and energy metals supply chain analyst Chris Berry said that moving to mine lithium is ill-advised because it is quite challenging. Berry said it was a terrible idea to consider mining because there isn’t any commercial lithium production from deposits.