Tesla Considers Chile’s Largest Lithium Producer As New Plant Partner

Tesla Gigafactory


Tesla battery production

Model 3 battery cell production at the Tesla Gigafactory

Tesla is openly discussing the potential for a lithium processing plant in Chile as part of a partnership with the country’s largest lithium producer, Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile.

Teslarati shared the news that originally came from Financial Times. According to the report, Eduardo Bitran, executive vice-president of the Corfo development agency, explained that Tesla’s partnership with Chile would make the country a leader in the market.

Lithium is a necessary material for electric car batteries, and it’s only abundant in certain areas. Chile happens to have a substantial concentration of the material. In fact, Chile lays claim to 54 percent of lithium reserves worldwide. Bitran told Financial Times:


The Tesla Model 3 is just the beginning of the automaker’s growing needs for lithium-ion batteries (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs)

“With an increasing supply of lithium, Chile is key for any company that wants to become global in electro-mobility. Being close to Chile or having a strategic alliance in Chile becomes a strategic factor for a company like Tesla.”

As EV adoption continues to grow throughout the globe, batteries are becoming scarce. Tesla owns its own battery Gigafactory in partnership with Panasonic, in an attempt to solve this problem. However, a lack and/or the expense of materials will have an obvious impact. This partnership would assure that Tesla has almost unlimited access to lithium, which would also work to keep the costs low.

Other automakers that are moving forward with EV development are also looking for partnerships with battery manufacturers, as well as lithium producers. Toyota recently secured a 15-percent stake in Argentinian lithium provider, Orocobre.

As these automakers invest in companies in South American countries like Chile and Argentina, it provides a welcome boost to otherwise struggling economies. It seems like a win-win situation.

Bitran is hopeful and optimistic that the deal with Tesla will be solidified. He also mentioned that Chile’s affordable solar power could be another huge draw for the Silicon Valley automaker.

Source: Teslarati

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16 Comments on "Tesla Considers Chile’s Largest Lithium Producer As New Plant Partner"

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“Lithium is a necessary material for electric car batteries, and it’s only abundant in certain areas. Chile happens to have a substantial concentration of the material. In fact, Chile lays claim to 54 percent of lithium reserves worldwide.”

That sounds really good.

I think they a playing games with “reserves”. From what I remember Bolivia has more high grade ore than Chile. No one want to mine it because of the policies of the Bolivian government.

Playing games with “reserves”?


“Reserve” just means that someone bothered to do a survey and estimated a certain amount of the mineral is in a certain area, which they think can be profitably mined.

When it comes to something as common as lithium, this means rather little, as it’s quite common. Lithium can be found in so many places that it’s rare for anyone to bother doing a survey for it.

Anybody claiming that there is a “shortage” of lithium is trying to sell you something, and that thing they’re trying to sell is probably speculative stocks in a mineral exploration company. As if that’s not bad enough, that industry has more stock swindles than any other.

It’s not as simple as that: while lithium is abundant, commercially viable deposits are actually pretty rare.

Having said that, the “reserves” claim is indeed misleading. It seems to count only the reserves available in currently mined deposits. The global identified resources are much higher according to the US Geological Study, and Chile holds less then 20% of them.

They are actually about the same; Bolivia just has more in a single place.

Tesla article no 3. Time to manipulate the stock algorithm to comfuse stock brokers

Misplaced, please scrap…

Do you usually just repeat random words you hear and try to put them together in sentences? Do you even care to understand what you just said? You come off as a very stupid individual.

So are accusing InsideEvs of trying to “confuse stock brokers” Will?

Tesla might have used its lead in EV development to already have secured the supply of commodities it needs. Looks like now it’s in competition with the rest of the industry that also shifted its plug-in programs in high gear last year.

I’ll believe other auto makers have shifted into high(er) gear with their EV plans, when I read about them actually breaking ground on building high-capacity battery factories, so they can control their own battery supply as BYD does and as Tesla is in the process of doing.

So far at least, not so much. In fact, altho there have been reports of some auto makers talking about building such factories, nobody else has actually started doing so.

Why would a manufacturer need to construct commodity components in house? Nobody still builds their own lead-acid batteries, for example. Even Tesla buys components from MB like switches.

Just because Tesla says they do? They don’t. Samsung batteries used in Australia not Panasonic. Panasonic is probably still shipping batteries to the “gigafactory”. Thus the production problems.

Oh, they’ve started building them alright. On a computer screen. By later in 2018 we should see some great renderings of what those plants will look like and some breathtaking projections of how many 100s of thousands of battery packs they will be able to produce someday from those rendered factories.

Actually, a major criticism of Lithium mining in Chile is that supposedly it provides virtually no benefit to the local economy… Operating a mine doesn’t need much workforce or other resources; while the exploitation rights were given away to private companies (some of them foreign) virtually for free.