TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC
Start a Discussionhttps://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/tags/

Cobalt sources for the Tesla batteries

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Merrill, May 26, 2017.

  1. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    2,449
    Location:
    Sonoma, California
    I have been told that the cobalt for Tesla's batteries comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, wondering if this is true and if so does Tesla have a plan to change that.
     
  2. Lloyd

    Lloyd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    5,391
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    IIRC, Cobalt is also a byproduct of Nickel production.
     
  3. Missile Toad

    Missile Toad Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2016
    Messages:
    326
    Location:
    Houston
    Very good question. Tesla is between a rock and a hard place if it is not looking for as many alternative sources to cobalt:
    Cobalt Production Dynamics. According to the Cobalt Development Institute, an incredible 94% of global cobalt supplies come from nickel and copper mines that produce cobalt as a by-product. That means only 6% of global cobalt supplies come from mines that might be able to increase production in response to growing demand from the battery industry.
     
  4. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    16,991
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Any claim that Tesla's cobalt comes from DRC is "fake news". DRC is a cobalt producer, but a minor one. Canada alone supplies nearly twice as much.

    Cobalt isn't officially considered a "conflict mineral" at the moment; currently that status is reserved for coltan (tantalum), tin, gold, and tungsten. Manufacturers are required to identify the smelters that sourced all of their "conflict minerals", and ensure that they're all certified as to the source of their ores. Even for a small electronics product this can amount to a hundred different smelters (ask me how I know...:confused:). As demand rises cobalt may be added to the list.
     
    • Informative x 1
  5. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    2,449
    Location:
    Sonoma, California
    In the research I have done they say that the DRC supplies 47% of the cobalt world wide. Would love to know where Tesla gets there cobalt, since the batteries are made by Panasonic I guess we need to know where they are getting their supplies of cobalt.
     
  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    16,991
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    There is conflicting information out there. Summary I found suggests otherwise Sources Of Cobalt : Cobalt Development Institute

    Nevertheless, there are legitimate sources in DRC. The problem is illegal mines that support insurgents. That can be managed without cutting off legitimate sources.
     
    • Like x 2
  7. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    2,449
    Location:
    Sonoma, California
    Thanks Doug, it is a bit clearer when they say 47% it is copper or nickel. Still wondering where Tesla will get there cobalt for the gigafactory.
     
  8. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    16,991
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    If I were a company buying parts from them, I would request a declaration of conformity. As a consumer I'm not sure if that's possible.
     

Share This Page