Tesla Wants Its Raw Materials for Gigafactory to Come From North America
April 2, 2014 9:19 AM
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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.
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4/3/2014 1:07:27 AM
I believe the UAW also represents some Mexican workers as well. Can't remember for sure though. Mexico is also part of north America. AC/Delco was actually based around Flint Michigan. Had a step father that worked there for 30 some years. They were then bought by GM, and renamed to Delphi, as a subsidiary oem parts supplier. All of the big 3 also have many plants in Mexico. Basically it's part of how they're allowed to sell their vehicles there. Chrysler builds part of their engines there for example.
It is nice to see Tesla leading by example though, and choosing to use North American supplies for their business. I'd imagine if we had steady Lithium production here, they'd be getting that here as well.
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