More EVs mean more batteries, and Tesla sells more EVs than any other company in the US. The automaker also has a history of handling as much as possible in-house, so we expected that a lithium refining factory might be in the brand's best interest. Now, reports out of Corpus Christi confirm that there's already a meeting on the books for Tesla's potential move into lithium refining in Texas.
We just covered the fact that Tesla is refocusing its efforts on Giga Texas over Giga Berlin, specifically related to batteries. It's going to take some time and convincing to move forward with such a project in Germany, but Tesla can make progress right away in Texas. Working to speed up delivery times in the US is paramount to CEO Elon Musk, and it would also allow Tesla the ability to lower prices.
At any rate, according to an article posted by Kris 6 News Corpus Christi, Tesla is considering building a battery-grade lithium hydroxide refining factory in Texas, near the Robstown area. There's now a meeting about the potential project scheduled for next week during which citizens can engage with County Commissioners related to the project and related details. The people in attendance will also be encouraged to provide their opinions about the proposed project and its future impact.
The special meeting with the Nueces County Commissioners will take place on Monday at 2 PM local time.
Meetings like this aren't uncommon, and it's certainly not uncommon for people to show up in protest of such a project. Those who are either largely unaware of the project or couldn't care less, probably won't attend in large numbers. However, those who are concerned about the project for any number of reasons are likely to show up to have their opinions heard.
This appears to be the first such meeting related to Tesla's potential lithium refining facility in Texas. While the company has a long way to go if it decides to pursue the project, this initial step will give the automaker, as well as lawmakers and the public, some idea of its feasibility. Tesla is also said to be considering Lousiana as an option, so perhaps a similar meeting in the neighboring state will paint a picture of which location is the better option.
Either way, construction on the site could begin ahead of the end of 2022, though it will be two years or more before the factory is fully functional. It will be a smaller facility, employing fewer than 200 people. Tesla suggested Robstown, Texas, as a possible location, but noted that anywhere with access to the Gulf Coast shipping channel would suffice.