The head of Tesla has called for more investment in lithium mining to close the gap between supply and demand for the metal caused by the use of electric cars. Elon Musk cites the shortage of lithium, which is needed to make traction batteries for electric cars, as the main limiting factor holding back the development of the electric car industry.
“We need to help the metallurgy industry with this [в добыче лития]. I would definitely encourage entrepreneurs who are trying to get into the lithium business. Lithium reserves are the key reserves for us at the moment,” he was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.
Analyst agency Benchmark Mineral Intelligence estimates that the world price index for lithium is up 280 percent in 2021 and another 127 percent in the first quarter of 2022. This increases costs for electric vehicle manufacturers. In addition, lithium production is concentrated in a small number of countries, which creates the risk of interruptions in the supply of metal. For example, Australia and Chile account for 81% of global production.