The head of the world ' s largest electric car manufacturer, Ilon Mask, has repeatedly encouraged entrepreneurs to invest more heavily in the processing of lithium needed for the manufacture of traction batteries, and he says that this activity is comparable in terms of yield to coins. According to official documents, Tesla does not mind working on lithium in Texas.
For a company, the availability of its own raw materials is a strategic factor in maintaining a high rate of expansion in the production of electric vehicles; moreover, it is unlikely that the largest player in the US market will give up government subsidies, which under the new legislation imply the localization of the production not only of the machines themselves, but also of the raw materials for the manufacture of their traction batteries.
According to Reuters, Tesla has applied for the production of lithium hydroxide for further use in the manufacture of lithium batteries in Texas. Another incentive to engage Tesla in this activity is the increase in the price of materials for the production of batteries, because the vertical integration of businesses usually reduces costs. The construction of a plant in Texas should start in the fourth quarter of the year, and the production of raw materials should begin by the end of 2024. The supply of raw materials from this site, which will be located on the Gulf of Mexico, will be carried out by Tesla, which produces traction batteries in the United States, is now available in Texas and Nevada, but it cannot be excluded that in the future it will be joined by another enterprise on the continent.
Texas is not the only possible site for a lithium hydroxide processing facility; the alternative is the construction of a plant in Louisiana. As Ilon Mask has pointed out, the industry's shortage of lithium is not the result of its low incidence in nature, the problem is its limited processing capacity. By 2030, let's recall, Tesla intends to produce 20 million electric vehicles per year, and the production volume will increase on average by a half a year over the next couple of years.