Tesla CEO Elon Musk asked Nickel suppliers to mine more of the metal for the company’s electric vehicle batteries, but his call went unanswered. Now, the company is shifting its Standard Range cars to LFP, or lithium iron phosphate batteries, citing supply concerns as the real bottleneck between the company and a more efficient Nickel cathode.
Rewinding back to Summer 2020, Elon Musk hopped on the Q2 2020 Earnings Call and told Nickel miners to mine more of the metal. Offering a “giant contract” worth a lot of money, Musk was ready to put his money where his mouth is, looking to shift toward Nickel cathodes in an attempt to scale production of the cells.
During the Earnings Call, Musk said (via The Motley Fool):
“Well, I’d just like to reemphasize, any mining companies out there, please mine more nickel, OK? Wherever you are in the world, please mine more nickel, and don’t wait for nickel to go back to some long — some high point that you experienced some five years ago or whatever. Go for efficiency, as environmentally friendly, nickel mining at high volume. Tesla will give you a giant contract for a long period of time if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way. So hopefully, this message goes out to all mining companies.”