Elon Musk says a shortage of lithium is holding Tesla back. His solution? Build a lithium refinery in Texas

Tesla is moving forward with plans to build a lithium refinery on the Texas Gulf Coast in an effort to gain more control over the battery supply chain for electric vehicles.

CEO Elon Musk confirmed the move Wednesday during a conference call in response to an analyst’s question about the company’s progress on the company’s new 4680 battery technology.

The Austin, Texas-based company has been considering the project for months, as Bloomberg News previously reported report, but reviewed at least one other location in Louisiana. The company has told state regulators it plans to build a battery-grade lithium hydroxide refining facility near Corpus Christi to process the raw ore material into something more production-ready.

Musk calls the price of lithium “crazy expensive” and has repeatedly encouraged entrepreneurs to start refining lithium as a way to ease supply bottlenecks of the key material used in lithium-ion batteries.

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