Manufacturers such as BYD already do it, which have controlled the battery supply chain from the very extraction of the materials that give it shape. Now, Tesla wants to follow that same path with the start of construction of a lithium refinery that will allow the American manufacturer to diversify its sources and reduce costs.
This facility is located in the town of Corpus Christiabout 300 kilometers from Austin, Texas, the same state where Tesla’s largest factory and headquarters are located.
According to Elon Musk, who arrived on a cyber truck to the event, the refinery it should be ready in 2024 and deliver material approximately one year later.
Not long ago, Musk himself indicated that factories capable of refining lithium were veritable money printers. A sector until now in the hands of China, which is beginning to awaken in other markets driven by the need to find alternative sources to the Asian giant.
With this move, Tesla hopes to produce enough lithium to produce 1 million batteries a year by 2025and with this the American brand wants to anticipate a bottleneck in the face of the expansion of the production of the new models.
As usual, Tesla events give a lot to talk about, and in addition to the presentation of the factory project itself, including an infographic of its appearance once finished, Musk announced that he plans to remove sodium sulfate, a byproduct used in conventional lithium refineries. Instead, what will be left is a mixture of sand and calcium carbonate that can be used as an additive in building materials. Subsequently, the refinery should also be able to work with recycled material.
Tesla’s goal is to have a clean factory with no toxic emissions both for workers and for the environment.
An installation that also has a strong symbolic component of the change in the energy paradigm, since according to Tesla, the facility will be able to count on the experience of workers in the oil and gas sector. This will make it possible to recycle the jobs that electrification will gradually eliminate from the fossil fuel industry.