Tesla pegs Australia as key to solving the electric car battery production crunch
According to the Tesla Inc. Chair Robyn Denholm, the Australian continent holds the key to resolving the current EV battery production bottleneck. Speaking at the Australian Clean Energy Summit, Tesla's Chair extolled the virtues of the local mining industry saying that despite Australia's vast lithium extraction scale that amounts to nearly half of the world's exports, the country has the capacity to expand much more, especially in the refinement business.
Australia is the world's top raw lithium producer, yet its refining capacity puts it at only 7% of the global total as the bulk of refined lithium originates from China. "Australia has the minerals - not just lithium - and also the knowhow and many of the skills to capture the opportunity of this new energy era," said Mrs. Denholm, adding that there is no technology more important to develop today than scaling battery production as fast as possible.
"To meet the challenge of climate change this entire industry needs to scale at sprinting pace," she continued, as Tesla itself has the capacity to gobble up 3 terabyte hours of battery capacity by 2030, while current global annual production is three times less. According to BloombergNEF, in the next 3 years the world would need US$14 billion of investment in lithium production alone if it wants to reach all the planned EV and energy storage battery capacity targets.
Apparently, a lot of those capital outlays will have to be poured into Australia, according to Tesla's chair who also advised the Australian government to set stricter transportation ecology standards as "Australia currently accepts vehicles that the rest of the world doesn't - they're either too dirty or expensive to run." Needless to say, the adoption of such advice would play right into Tesla's hands as it will significantly boost electric vehicle sales Down Under.