According to the Wall Street Journal, Tesla is about to open a lithium processing plant in Texas or Louisiana to recycle lithium, a key material for electric vehicle batteries.
Lithium price pushes Tesla towards autonomy
In an official form to the Texas Comptroller’s Office, Tesla said it wants to build a lithium processing plant with access to the Gulf of Mexico channel. The American company is currently evaluating the feasibility of the project. Construction on a potential site in Texas could begin as early as the fourth quarter of 2022. The refinery could be put into operation by the end of 2024.
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The explosion in lithium prices is pushing Tesla towards autonomy. This price increase is due to the growing demand for electric vehicles. It turns out that lithium is the main component of the batteries of these vehicles. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said restrictions on the recycling of materials used in lithium-ion batteries have driven up costs.
He also encourages American entrepreneurs to get involved in the lithium sector. Elon Musk is sure. He even claims that in the lithium market, “you can’t lose. Starting a business in this area means getting a license to print money.”
Another project in Texas
In a statement to Texas authorities, Tesla also provided an assessment of the economic impact of the project. The automaker says no construction contract or regulatory approval has yet been issued as “preliminary development work has only begun.”
The company says it intends to use a more environmentally friendly process to make the raw ore suitable for battery production and ship the lithium hydroxide by truck or rail to various Tesla battery sites.
Therefore, the company is again looking to strengthen its ties with Texas. Tesla already moved its headquarters to Austin last year. SpaceX, another Elon Musk company, also has facilities in South Texas. This is a launch pad east of Brownsville near the Gulf of Mexico.