• Business Business

Elon Musk's new venture could lead to Tesla's cars getting even cheaper: 'So important for [the] future'

"This seems such a small investment, yet so important for its future and mission."

Elen Musk, Tesla's cars getting cheaper

Photo Credit: Getty Images

On May 8, Tesla announced the development of its in-house lithium refinery outside of Corpus Christi, Texas. 

The facility is set to aid in the production of 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) annually, according to Electrek. It is expected to help Tesla reduce production costs, as the vast majority of the batteries that power its EVs use lithium. 

Meanwhile, adding this scale of lithium refining to U.S. soil — which produces so little of the world's total lithium supply — represents a step toward more secure access to clean energy sources.

Tesla's Twitter account released a video of a ceremony celebrating the new refinery. The clip shows several notable figures, including Elon Musk, other members of the Tesla team, and local government officials, speaking about the significance of the new facility. 

"We are incredibly excited to announce … one of the biggest lithium refineries in the world," Musk said in his speech. "We expect to produce lithium for about a million vehicles and produce more battery-grade lithium than the rest of North American refining capacity combined."

In addition to EVs, lithium is also found in the batteries that power many personal electronics, as well as flashlights, cameras, and other everyday items. As reliant as many U.S. industries are on lithium, the country has historically needed to purchase much of it from other countries.

In recent years, the price of lithium has skyrocketed. In fact, the metal has seen a 182.6% year-on-year price increase since December 2022. The addition of more domestic lithium refineries like Tesla's could not only solve supply chain issues but could also help American industries escape international price gouging of the metal. 

Such a shift could reduce the production cost of EVs, which could ultimately mean a reduction in price for customers.

According to CNBC, experts predict that by the year 2030, the increase in EV production will drive 90% of the need for lithium. Musk has urged other entrepreneurs to join him in building refineries as part of a long-term plan to have sustainable access to clean energy in the U.S.

In response to the announcement video, Twitter users shared praise for the project.

 "Go Teslaaaaa!!! All the best of luck!!!!! Love you!!!!" one Twitter user said.

"This seems such a small investment for $TSLA, yet so important for its future and mission," noted another Twitter user.

Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider