Raw material required: “How to print money”: Tesla boss Elon Musk recommends entry into the lithium industry

• Lithium important for electric car batteries
• Increasing demand for lithium drives up the price
• Elon Musk advises the founders to get started and is thinking about it with Tesla himself


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Lithium is of enormous importance in the energy transition, as it is used in large quantities in electric car batteries: according to “Der Aktionär”, three to ten kilos of lithium are required to produce a single electric car. The global lithium-ion battery market is expected to grow 30 percent annually through 2030 due to the expected growing popularity of electric cars, the magazine quotes from a study by consultancy Roland Berger. But while lithium deposits can be found all over the world, supply may not be able to keep up with demand. According to DIW, producers can only react to increased demand to a limited extent in the short term by making greater use of existing capacities. According to the institute, a delivery time of several years is required for a greater increase in the supply of lithium. The DIW therefore expects significant price increases for the raw material in the coming years.

Musk: lithium price at “crazy level”

The price of lithium has already reached a new record. As stated on Twitter by “World of Statistics”, the price for a ton of lithium has gone up in the last ten years from US $ 4,450 in 2012 to US $ 78,032 in 2022. This immense jump in price does not leave the head of the electric household Tesla cold car, because lithium is currently indispensable for Tesla for the mass production of the batteries of its electric cars. “The price of lithium has gone up to insane levels,” Elon Musk tweeted in response to data from World of Statistics.

As the Tesla boss continues explaining, the element itself is not lacking, only the extraction and processing speed is too slow. Tesla itself could then be forced into the industry on a larger scale if costs don’t improve. Tesla had already secured the rights to mine lithium in Nevada in late 2020, but there has been no new information since then, so it can be assumed that the electric car maker has not yet mined lithium there.

Musk encourages the founders to enter the lithium industry

Indeed, the rising price of lithium is likely to be a cost factor for the group’s electric cars – Tesla has raised the prices of its vehicles several times in the recent past – and could pose a long-term threat to businesses. . However, an increase in supply could improve the situation, which is why Elon Musk asked potential founders to take a closer look at the lithium industry. “Enter the lithium industry, there are profit margins up to ninety percent, similar to the software industry, it’s like printing money,” Tesla chief said, according to “WirtschaftsWoche” as part of the latest budget presentation . “We feel we have to help the industry on that front,” Musk continued, according to “ZDNet” – and apparently this help may not be big enough for him. However, it remains to be seen how long profit margins will remain so high if many founders follow Tesla’s boss call. editorial staff

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