Nickel has been making headlines since Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk called for more mining of the metal over the summer, and the company’s Battery Day has reinforced interest.
Musk said at the recent event that the automaker is looking to process nickel in a more efficient way, eliminating steps and addressing the waste of water. He also reiterated his request for more nickel mining, and said the company is developing cathodes that will contain higher nickel and no cobalt.
At Battery Day, all plans unveiled by Tesla point to a reduction in battery costs, in line with the company’s goal of producing an affordable US$25,000 electric vehicle (EV) in the next three years. Tesla is also looking to ramp up battery production capacity to 100 GWh by 2022 and to 3 TWh by 2030.
“The move to high-nickel cathodes has been widely accepted, and Tesla confirmed that it was in the same boat,” Sean Mulshaw of Wood Mackenzie told the Investing News Network (INN). “(But) more nickel comes at the expense of cobalt, and this means lower stability of the cathode.”
There are several reasons why Tesla would want to increase nickel and reduce cobalt, including reducing exposure to the cobalt market and its associated reputational risks, decreasing the cost of raw materials and increasing cell energy density.