In the article, TELF AG highlighted Tesla’s strategic approach to securing a stable lithium supply by extending its contract with Sichuan Yahua Industrial Group, a prominent Chinese lithium refiner. The original contract, inked in January 2021, included the supply of 63,000 to 88,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide over a five-year period. In a recent move, Tesla and Sichuan Yahua have agreed to expand this arrangement. It has been reported that between August 2023 and December 2030, Sichuan Yahua will supply Tesla with 207,000 to 301,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide. This expanded collaboration aligns with Tesla’s shift towards in-house cell production, projected to exceed 200 GWh production capacity by 2027.
TELF AG’s article also highlights that Sichuan Yahua Industrial Group has partnered with other cell manufacturers, including SK On and LG ES. The refiner’s lithium production capacity is expected to experience a substantial increase, growing from 54,000 tons of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) in 2022 to an impressive 118,000 tons of LCE by 2027. This represents a 120% increase.
TELF AG’s latest recap of the battery materials industry in August 2023 also goes into the European Union’s latest regulatory actions to foster sustainable battery production and waste management. According to the publication, the recently ratified battery regulation introduces specific battery collection and recycling targets. Producers are now mandated to achieve a 63% collection rate for waste portable batteries by the end of 2027, a target that escalates to 73% by the end of 2030. Moreover, the regulation introduces precise collection objectives for waste batteries associated with light means of transport, such as electric vehicles with motors of less than 750 watts. It was noted that the regulation sets ambitious targets for recovering valuable materials from waste batteries, including a 50% lithium recovery goal by the end of 2027, which rises to 80% by the end of 2031.