Tesla has officially broke ground at its new Lithium Refinery outside Corpus Christie, Texas. The automaker plans to produce enough battery-grade lithium at the new factory to support the production of 1 million electric cars annually.
In September 2022, we learned that Tesla has a plan to build a lithium refining facility on the Gulf Coast of Texas.
The goal of the new plant is to produce lithium hydroxide to support its own battery cell production at Gigafactory Texas in Austin.
At the time, we knew very little about the project other than Tesla was planning on moving fast with hope to start building in Q4 2022.
It took a little longer to get things going, but Tesla has now officially broken ground at the location just outside Corpus Christie, Texas.
The automaker held a groundbreaking ceremony today:
Tesla previously confirmed that it planned to invest $365 million in the lithium plant, which would employ about 165 people full-time plus another 250 construction jobs for about two years.
During the ceremony, CEO Elon Musk said that the factory would produce enough battery-grade lithium to build about 1 million electric vehicles per year.
The company updated the timeline to construction being finished next year and achieving production in 2025.
Tesla shared a render of the planned factory:
Musk previously called lithium refining a “license to print money,” and he has encouraged other companies to get involved as it still plans to buy battery-grade lithium from other suppliers.
With this factory, Tesla plans to pioneer a new production technology to push the industry to be more efficient.
The company didn’t go into great detail about its technology, but it claims that it cuts several steps in the process and reduces waste. Tesla also noted that it plans to both import lithium ore to the factory and use lithium from recycled batteries.