Wednesday 2 June 2021 1:20 pm

Tesla to spend north of $1bn for Australian electric car battery materials annually

Raw battery materials from Australia alone are expected to cost Tesla north of $1bn every year, the chair of the US carmaker has said today.

Australia, which is rich in natural resource, is a business go-to for its bustling mining industry and responsible production practices.

Tesla is keen for minerals like lithium and nickel, which are key for its electric car batteries.

“We expect our spend on Australian minerals to increase to more than $1bn per annum for the next few years,” Tesla chair Robyn Denholm, told a Minerals Council of Australia event.

The carmaker, owned by Elon Musk, already sources three-quarters of its lithium from Australia and over a third of its nickel, Denham continued.

“Australian mining companies do have a good reputation, great expertise, professionalism and are preferred by manufacturers increasingly concerned about meeting both today’s and the future’s ESG requirements.”

UK car plant

The end of May saw speculation of Musk scouting out potential sites in the UK for a car plant.

The government’s new Office for Investment called upon regional agencies last month to submit potential locations for a new factory, a move that would add £80bn to the UK’s car industry.

Regional authorities in Teesside and the West Midlands were reportedly contacted over the potential sites. 

Musk visited the UK, landing at Luton in his $70m Gulfstream jet, and left again on the Sunday night. However, it was unable to be confirmed if Musk’s visit was linked to the search for a car manufacturer.