Is Lithium Supply Hitting The Brakes For Tesla?
Tesla is quickly becoming the authority in the electric car market despite facing many issues along the way. The latest issue the car manufacturer is facing is making sure their supply of lithium can keep up with the demand. Tesla model cars run on battery packs which are made up of 7,000 lithium-ion batteries. The annual global sales of electric cars are predicted to grow from 1 million in 2017 to over 24 million by the year 2030. With electric cars main competitors being consumer electronics such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops it’s safe to say the lithium demand is going to continue to rise.
The main issue at hand isn’t the amount of lithium being consumed, in fact over the next dozen years we will have used less than 1% of the grounds supply. The focus will now be on keeping up with the lithium demand by building new mines and expanding operations at already existing mining facilities. Mining companies have said they will be adding an additional 20 new mines to the 16 already in operation. This new expansion is estimated to cost somewhere from $350 billion to $750 billion. The first of the new mines is said to open in 2019.
One way Tesla is staying ahead of the competition is looking into investing in Chilean lithium supplier SQM to secure themselves a steady supply of the metal for their future production. It will be interesting to see how Tesla handles this new bump in the road.