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Tesla wants to avoid mines with labor issues and pollution problems

Tesla is the most successful company in the electric vehicle market today and the company is hoping that its good fortune continues (that is if dealerships and lobbyists step out of the way).
Tesla last week looked to squash fears of vehicle fires with additional underbody protection for the Model S, and today it’s looking to source all of its raw materials in North America for its new $5 billion battery factory. The move means that Tesla won’t be using the typical overseas sources for materials such as graphite, cobalt, and other items.
“It will enable us to establish a supply chain that is local and focused on minimizing environmental impact while significantly reducing battery cost,” says company spokeswoman Liz Jarvis-Shean. Another reason for the move is to help Tesla prevent the use of materials sourced for areas in the world responsible for massive amounts of pollution and to eliminate the use of materials from areas where there are human rights concerns.

China, for example, has moved to close mines that produce graphite used in lithium-ion batteries and other products due to air quality issues. Most of the graphite that Tesla uses currently comes from Japan and Europe and is of the synthetic variety.
Tesla might have to turn to graphite mines in Canada, while Cobalt could come from areas like Minnesota and Idaho.
“It’s very patriotic of them to do that, but it costs, and already the costs of these electric vehicles are quite high,” said Edward R. Anderson, CEO of consultant firm TRU Group Inc.

Source: Detroit News

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Graphite is not a rare earth
By DanNeely on 4/2/2014 10:22:11 AM , Rating: 2
It's carbon and available from many sources.

RE: Graphite is not a rare earth
By danjw1 on 4/2/2014 10:50:03 AM , Rating: 3
So far the only one to mention rare earth metals is you. There is no mention of rare earth metals in the article, other than lithium and that in the context of graphite being used in the making of lithium batteries.

By flyingpants1 on 4/2/2014 11:01:11 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention that graphite is not a metal.

RE: Graphite is not a rare earth
By DanNeely on 4/2/2014 11:31:17 AM , Rating: 3
The article has apparently been edited. At the time I made my comment, graphite was mentioned as an example of rare earths and linked to a recent article about China's export quotas being smacked down by the WTO.

RE: Graphite is not a rare earth
By Jeffk464 on 4/2/2014 5:46:33 PM , Rating: 3
You have to love Elon Musk, an non wall street type CEO with actual ethics and he is beating them at their game.

RE: Graphite is not a rare earth
By TSS on 4/3/2014 6:56:45 AM , Rating: 2
Except that financially speaking he's cooking the books as hard as any wallstreet firm is.

Still hasn't made a GAAP based profit, there's a difference of $150 million between GAAP and non-GAAP based revenue. Which is because they're marking liabilities as sales, because of their "innovative" leasing scheme. They're also excluding expenses from their non-gaap revenue. And they're still making money on the sale off "zero emission vehicle credits". Also remember he's thankfully making use of taxpayer money in the form of the governmental tax credits on vehicles with batteries (it's even the basis for his leasing scheme).

To his credit he's not being any worse then any wallstreet CEO. But he's certainly not being any better either. He's just riding the hypetrain for as long as it'll run hoping they'll turn an actual profit by the time it comes to a halt. Which, untill they do make a proper profit, i'm not gonna be a fan of the results.

There's no such thing as a "non wall street CEO with ethics" as long as his company is very much a part of wall street. That said i'm much more a fan of his work with Space-X. His work's alot better as long as he doesn't have to involve himself with wallstreet.

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