Tesla to get into the lithium business because costs are so ‘insane’, says Elon Musk


Elon Musk, following his 9.2% stake in Twitter, recently tweeted about Tesla getting into the lithium mining and refining industry. This resulted because Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has been concerned about the increasing cost of the metal—a key component in manufacturing EV batteries.

Price of lithium has gone to insane levels,” Musk tweeted. “There is no shortage of the element itself, as lithium is almost everywhere on Earth, but pace of extraction/refinement is slow.”

The SpaceX and Tesla Chief tweeted the above, in response to another tweet discussing the average price of lithium per tonne in the last two decades, showing a drastic increase since 2021. 

Cost of metal has gone up 480% in the last year alone (source: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence). This is a point of major concern for the EV industry in general, particularly when the entire industry is geared towards making EVs affordable and contributing to environmental sustainability.

Use of lithium—a vital element in manufacturing EV batteries is primarily because it is the lightest metal, as well as the least dense solid element, thus producing a higher power-to-weight ratio which in turn is vitally essential for increasing the performance of electric vehicles.

Elon’s Friday’s tweet was not the first he has raised concerns about the subject of lithium mining by Tesla. Two years ago, Tesla Motors secured its own rights to mine lithium in Nevada after a deal with a lithium supplier fell through.

Tesla has made major efforts in transforming the EV industry in the last decade, and it’s no surprise that it will be producing its own lithium batteries in order to eliminate any and all limiting factors to the future of sustainable energy.