If you have been on the internet lately, you might have seen people hating on Tesla and Elon Musk for other reasons than the usual claims of only going after government subsidies and Musk’s controversial comments. Now, some people are accusing Tesla and its CEO of being involved in a coup in Bolivia to secure their lithium in a crazy new conspiracy theory.
Following disputed elections with a lot of irregularities in Bolivia last year, president Evo Morales was forced to resign by several groups, including the police and military.
Morales had been president for 14 years and with concerns that elections were being manipulated for him to maintain power, several political interests and political infighting are believed to be behind his ousting.
However, some conspiracy theories have claimed that American influence was behind the change of power, and there’s even a theory that a German mining company, ACI Systems, was also involved in order to secure the country’s lithium.
The latter evolved into Elon Musk and Tesla being involved in the situation, which has been described as a coup by the former president.
It didn’t help that Musk jokingly said they are going to “coup whoever they want,” and Morales tweeted that it’s “proof” that Tesla and Musk were involved to secure lithium
The former president’s message roughly translates to:
“Another proof that the coup was due to Bolivian lithium; and two massacres as a resylt. We will always defend our resources!”
However, Tesla has no relationship with ACI, the company involved in securing Bolivian lithium mining rights, and Tesla gets most of its lithium in Australia.
Other than the fact that Tesla uses lithium, there’s really no link between Musk, the automaker, and the change of power in Bolivia.
Yet, some conspiracy theorists are starting to push the idea that Tesla and Musk himself were actually involved in orchestrating the ousting of Morales.
I think people are blowing up the problems with lithium supply.
This whole conspiracy theory is obviously inspired by the oil wars — both political and literal wars that were sparked over securing oil supply.
Some people believe that something similar is going to happen with lithium as demand for the resource increase with electric vehicle and battery demand, but I don’t think it will be anything like oil.
There’s plenty of lithium all around the world — a lot more abundant and well distributed than oil resources.
I don’t think we are going to see any scarcity of lithium.
The problem is going to be about rapidly increasing mining and production efficiently and in large volumes.
Of course, lithium exists in some forms that are easier to mine than others and that will make some mining rights more valuable than others, but I don’t see it reaching the same problems as oil since there are so many massive lithium deposits all over the world.
South American countries, like Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina, are known for having significant amounts of lithium, but it is also found all over the world, in Australia, Canada, Scandinavia, and even in the US.
It’s all about who can get mines running faster and more efficiently in order to maintain the price down.
Now with that said, I also wouldn’t joke about it like Elon did since it is still a very serious situation in Bolivia. People are dying. Let’s not joke about being involved with that.