Cobalt will not be taken out of batteries anytime soon – First Cobalt – by Mariaan Webb ( – September 23, 2020)

Canada’s First Cobalt, which owns North America’s only permitted cobalt refinery, is confident that cobalt will continue to play an essential role in batteries, despite Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicting a future with no graphite and no cobalt.

Responding to Musk’s comments at the Tesla Battery Day on Tuesday, First Cobalt president and CEO Trent Mell said that cobalt would not be taken out of batteries anytime soon.

“Despite years of trying to remove cobalt from batteries, it has proven to be a formidable challenge, owing to its importance in keeping batteries safe and extending the life of cells,” he said.

The announcement of a zero-cobalt battery formed part of Tesla’s move to make batteries in-house to bring down the cost of its electric vehicles (EVs) to about $25 000 in three years’ time.

Mell noted that the timeline from concept to commercialisation of any new battery technology would take at least a decade and that Tesla had recently concluded a long-term cobalt supply deal, which would be at odds with pronouncements at the Battery Day.

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