Elon Musk, owner of SpaceX and Tesla and now Twitter’s largest shareholder, said a few days ago that his company, Tesla, might be involved in the lithium mining and recycling business as the price of lithium has risen colossally in recent years. Lithium is a vital component for electric vehicles because it is used to make vehicle components.
“The price of lithium has risen catastrophically. Lithium deficiency is not on earth because it is mined everywhere, although the rate of extraction and processing is low.”
Price of lithium has gone to insane levels! Tesla might actually have to get into the mining & refining directly at scale, unless costs improve.
There is no shortage of the element itself, as lithium is almost everywhere on Earth, but pace of extraction/refinement is slow.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 8, 2022
Elon Musk was soon responded to by “World Of Statistics”, which gave us a better idea of what Musk is talking about. As you can see, from 2012 to 2022, the price of lithium increased 17.5 times. Only in the last one year, ie from 2021 to 2022, the price of lithium has increased by 480%.
Elon Musk’s idea and desire is not really new. Scientists have long wondered how they could reduce demand or increase supply for one of the most hard-to-find metals.
In recent years we have seen attempts to create sodium ionic elements that can store much more energy by volume, however this project also failed. No new technology has yet appeared that could replace lithium-ion batteries properly.
It should also be noted that Musk has not started talking about lithium extraction now. In 2020, an anonymous source told Fortune that Tesla had already obtained a lithium-mining license in Nevada and the company had acquired Lithium-mining Cypress Development Corp., but it turned out that this was not justified.
A colossal increase in the price of lithium, an increase in the price of electric cars as well. Last month, Tesla unveiled the cheapest model, the Tesla Model 3, and its price is now $ 46,000. Musk then explained that SpaceX and Tesla were having a hard time because of inflation and rising prices for raw materials.