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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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