Tesla is building a new ‘Lithium Lab’ in Nevada

Tesla is building a new ‘Lithium Lab’ in Sparks, Nevada, according to a new building permit obtained by Electrek.

As the company made clear at its recent Investor Day, much of its focus is currently to scale its production capacity 10x by the end of the decade.

In order to make that happen, the automaker is increasingly getting involved more deeply in the battery supply chain.

We now learn that Tesla is building a new Lithium Lab in Nevada as part of this effort.

It isn’t located at Tesla Gigafactory Nevada, which is itself being expanded following the announcement in January that Tesla will produce Tesla Semi trucks and 4680 battery cells.

Instead, the company is building what it refers to as the “Tesla Lithium Lab,” according to a building permit obtained by Electrek, in the town of Sparks just outside of Reno:

Tesla recently applied for a building permit to make upgrades to the facility in order to turn it into a “Manufacturing R&D (Lithium Lab).”

The company wrote in the permit application:

Tenant improvement projects for the purpose of a Manufacturing R&D (Lithium Lab) facility. The scope of work includes mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and minor architectural upgrades to support tool installation and process optimizations.

The purpose of the facility is not clear beyond this quick description.

Tesla has been getting into the lithium business in different ways. It is building a new lithium refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas.

This facility is expected to pioneer a new processing technique to turn lithium into battery-grade lithium hydroxide.

Separately, Tesla has been talking about mining lithium in Nevada with a new technique, but the company hasn’t talked much about that effort since first announcing it in 2020.

At this point, it’s still unclear what role this new Tesla Lithium Lab will play in those projects.

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