Posted on February 18, 2015 by Minerals Make Life
Tesla Motors, the premier U.S. electric vehicle manufacturer, has transformed the automobile industry with its breakthrough in lithium-ion technology used in highly efficient and long-lasting batteries. Now, as reported by Bloomberg Business, the company plans to introduce this technology as a utilities system in powering homes.
“We are going to unveil the Tesla home battery, the consumer battery that would be for use in people’s houses or businesses fairly soon…We have the design done, and it should start going into production in about six months or so. It’s really great,” says Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk.
As this technology is introduced to the market, it is projected that these systems will spur industry growth, creating a large demand for the mineral that makes these batteries possible: lithium. However, because of our duplicative and redundant permitting process, manufacturers are not able to fully access the minerals and metals that we have here at home.
In fact, Nevada, the only state currently mining lithium, is home to a reserve base worth $9 billion. In a July 2014 Reno-Gazette op-ed, National Mining Association President and CEO Hal Quinn says,
“As the only state currently mining lithium, Nevada’s reserves could shorten and simplify the Gigafactory’s supply chain — giving the state a unique competitive advantage. This is no small leg up as worldwide demand for lithium is expected to skyrocket by 20 percent. More broadly, Nevada is home to $9 billion worth of mineral resources — like lithium, gold and silver — that could source not only Tesla’s Gigafactory, but also other advanced manufacturing operations emerging across the country. However, an inefficient federal permitting process for new mineral mines keeps ample resources locked underground and U.S. manufacturers scrambling to secure raw materials from various foreign sources.”
As Tesla expands beyond the automotive industry, there will be increased need for stronger supply chains and more streamlined manufacturing processes, demonstrating a greater demand for domestically-sourced lithium. Projects like this will provide tremendous growth for the state and its industries and create thousands of well-paying jobs across the country.
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