When it comes to securing Lithium suppliers for its future batteries, Tesla is often way ahead of the pack.
They know their own Lithium demand because they know how many battery cells and electric vehicles they plan to sell over the next few years and even the next decade. And from that, and their energy storage needs, they know they need a lot of battery grade lithium. As much as they can get.
Of course, Tesla also buys Lithium ion batteries directly from suppliers, which clearly have their own direct suppliers. Such as CATL in China.
So, who are Tesla’s main lithium suppliers right now? And also in the more recent past?
These are Tesla’s lithium suppliers right now.
Sichuan Yahua Industrial Group Co Ltd, China
The majority of Tesla’s lithium suppliers are in China and the Sichuan Yahua Industrial Group signed a major deal to supply lithium hydroxide back in December 2020.
Technically it was its wholly-owned subsidiary Yaan Lithium that signed the contract for $630-$880 million for the upcoming five years (2021-25).
The most recent operational capacity was in May 2020 at 20,000 tonnes per year.
Ganfeng Lithium Co Ltd, China
Another Chinese supplier of lithium hydroxide to Tesla is China’s Ganfeng Lithium Co Ltd, which signed a contract in late 2021. They have not specified how much lithium they are supplying, however, they are one of the biggest suppliers in the world and certainly have the capacity to help Tesla.
Bacanora Lithium, Mexico
Starting back in 2019, Barcanora started a lithium mine in Sonora, Northern Mexico with the goal of adding to Tesla’s lithium supply chain. They started with 35,000 tons of lithium, with potential expansion to 50,000 tons.
Kidman Resources, Australia
Back in May of 2018, Kidman Resources signed a 3 year deal with Tesla for lithium. However, that deal would now have run out.
Pure Energy Minerals Limited, Nevada, USA
Pure Energy Minerals Ltd is another of the lithium producers that signed an agreement with Tesla back on September 15th, 2015 to supply lithium from their local Clayton Valley, Nevada Lithium Brine Project. Quite a smart move given the proximity, 3.5 hours drive, to Giga Nevada.