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Tesla Is Bringing A Lithium Hydroxide Refinery To Tera Texas Making It The First Automaker To Start Lithium Refining

Tesla is to construct a plant at Giga Texas that will convert solumene into lithium for its batteries. Here are the details.

Exactly one week ago today, Tesla shared its latest battery updates and company news at the Battery Day event. The most important announcement made was a drastic reduction in battery pack costs.

In short, the reason for this price drop can be broken down into two main parts: the first is an improvement in the cell chemistry itself. Tesla has removed and simplified the battery making it tabless, cobalt free, have dry electrodes and will be made of lithium.

The second part comes in the shape of tooling and more efficient manufacturing, using fewer resources per battery. If you want a more in-depth dive into the highlights of battery day, consider checking out this article.

More sustainable and price cutting
But the improvements don't stop there: some new information has revealed that Tesla will start producing lithium hydroxide at the Tera Texas factory site. Tesla uses lithium as a battery element due to its high ability to store energy.

The refinery will enable it to convert spodumene to lithium hydroxide in a hydrometallurgical process.

In an effort to always try to make products more sustainable the process will not use any sulphuric acid, a chemical that can cause burns if it comes in contact with the skin. This will also remove 33% of lithium costs.

When does it start
The spodumene to lithium hydroxide conversion usually takes place in China using Spodumene sourced in Australia. In Tesla's case, the material will be sourced by Piedmont Lithium, a company based in North Carolina.
The deal between both companies stipulates that Piedmont will deliver about a third of its output in spodumene for a duration of five years to Tesla with the first delivery is due to occur in July of 2022.

Tesla Model 3, the affordable TeslaFirst carmaker to do so
This makes Tesla the first automaker to start producing lithium, another impressive "first to" title for the American EV manufacturer. The main reason for this is Tesla having difficulty to get enough battery making components. This also furthers Tesla's wishes to transition the world to sustainable energy, since the products won't use sulphates in the process.

This news definitely makes Tera Texas sound even more productive. A few days ago Tesla bought a lot of new land near Austin, this raises the possibility that it may be us ed as the Lithium refining plant location. What do you think? Was this land purchase completely unrelated? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Source for this news

Guillaume Humbert a Torque News automotive journalist covering Tesla news. "The way he first heard about Tesla was when he accidentally found a livestream of one of Tesla's cars back in 2018. It may sound boring, except this car was cruising in space. Since then Humbert has been following the EV automaker closely. Any of Tesla's innovations make the future look environmentally more friendly. "I am now trying to share the hope Tesla spread and inspire others through my articles," says Humbert whom you can follow on Twitter at Thinking Enthusiast.


Bob Wattson (not verified)    October 3, 2020 - 2:58PM

can you please tell me the source of your Info on the location of the plant? from what i have gathered i thought the plant was going to Tulsa. thanks.