When Tesla held its socially distanced “battery day” last month at an outdoor parking lot in California, it invited executives from the two big US lithium companies, Livent and Albemarle.
As they sat in their allotted Model 3s watching Elon Musk on their in-car screens, he dropped a bombshell: the electric car maker was becoming a competitor.
Tesla, Mr Musk said, had acquired the rights to a 10,000-acre plot in Nevada where it planned to extract the metal using simple table salt, and would build a lithium refinery to supply a new factory in Texas. The next day Albemarle and Livent lost a combined $1.7bn in market value as their share prices plunged. Continue Reading →