May 3, 2019

Tesla warns industry insiders of eventual mineral supply risk for batteries

Ben Geman, author of Generate

A Tesla Supercharger rapid battery charging station. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

A Tesla official said Thursday that a shortage of key minerals used in electric vehicle batteries could emerge years in the future absent more investment in mining projects, according to reports in Reuters and Bloomberg.

Why it matters: Growing demand for EVs will require higher volumes of lithium, copper (more on that below) and other materials. The topic was discussed at a closed-door meeting in Washington yesterday that included U.S. officials and mining industry, per the outlets.

What they're saying, via Bloomberg:

  • "Prices for some of the minerals, which include graphite, cobalt, lithium and nickel, could increase as a result of the high demand and the limited supply, Tesla global supply manager of battery metals Sarah Maryssael said in a closed-door presentation Thursday confirmed by the company."
  • "Investment is important to ensure there is sufficient supply for the industry to grow, she said."

What else: Copper is a challenge too, explains Reuters.

  • "The copper industry has suffered from years of underinvestment, and it is now working feverishly to develop new mines and bring fresh supply online as the electrification trend envelops the global economy," they report.

Go deeper: Cobalt demand still rising despite efforts to reduce usage in EVs

Go deeper

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

The Third Police Precinct burns in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Demonstrators demanding justice burned a Minneapolis police station and took control of the streets around it last night, heaving wood onto the flames, kicking down poles with surveillance cameras and torching surrounding stores.

What's happening: The crowd was protesting the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose life was snuffed out Tuesday by a white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for about eight minutes.

Minneapolis mayor to Trump: “Weakness is pointing your finger” during a crisis

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey fired back at President Trump on Friday, after the president accused the mayor of weak leadership amid violence sparked by the killing of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.

Driving the news: Trump made his accusations in a pair of tweets early Friday, saying he would bring the national guard into Minneapolis if Frey couldn't “bring the City under control.” 

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 5,844,499 — Total deaths: 361,066 — Total recoveries — 2,439,310Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 1,721,926 — Total deaths: 101,621 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a coronavirus vaccine once we have one.
  4. Business: Many poor and minority families can't afford food or rent.
  5. 2020: Trump courts Asian American vote amid coronavirus — The RNC issued proposed safety guidelines for its planned convention in Charlotte.
  6. ⚽️ Sports: European soccer's push to return.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.