Recently I watched a few videos about Tesla battery day. Their annual shareholder meeting. Where Elon and his team talked about the improvements, they found in making batteries. This is a big deal. As making batteries cheaper and more efficient is one of the biggest bottlenecks facing Tesla. A lot of their improvement come from redoing their manufacturing process. And finding better minerals to use for battery manufacture. They touted a 69% reduction in cost per kilowatt per hour.
In my opinion the most important thing, Tesla announced was a cheaper electric car. With the price range around $25,000. As this should allow most people in the western world to buy an electric car. And move away from gasoline cars. Making the transition to cleaner transport faster. Because there is a still untapped market of lower-end electric cars. While they are some like the Nissan Leaf. And Toyota Prius. I think tesla can make a big play. And help most people purchase an electric car. Further removing our need for fossil fuels.
Making a good electric car is no minor feat. One the technological innovation side. So, trying to manufacture batteries that are cheap and efficient. So good enough to last for a long time in a car. The second on the supply chain side. By sourcing materials. And the chemical processes to get the materials ready for manufacturing and production. Which is why Elon mentioned that he wants the company to have an advantage with manufacturing batteries. Any car company that wants to create efficient batteries will need to do a lot of catching up to do with tesla.
Also, if western companies don’t want to get hammered on human rights issues. Then they need to find ways to source materials in the western countries. Tesla says they will be getting more materials from Nevada. So, I guess other companies will have to do the same. As I don’t know the mining locations cobalt or any other rare earth materials. I can’t give precise locations, for mining these materials. I guess European companies will do something similar by finding materials within European borders. A lot of innovation when it comes to batteries, I can see are not sexy. They are boring like finding better mining locations. Improving the chemical processes to make the materials more efficient. But this is the innovation of what is needed to transition to a carbon-neutral world. They will be some issues if companies want to mine in the west. First, companies need to make sure the mining does not cause a raucous with local homeowners. NIMBYism can derail the whole project. As mining practices need to be environmentally friendly to hit the same problems of open mining coal.
Mining will need to be environmentally friendly. To avoid problems that you have from mining something like coal. Like bad local air quality and destroying the local environment.