Tesla CEO Mulling Largest Lithium-Ion Battery Factory In World

PALO ALTO (KCBS) — Looking to eventually produce more electric cars, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said they may need a new factory for battery cells alone and its size would be major.

Tesla currently buys most of its lithium-ion batteries from Panasonic, but the company said that’s simply not enough to ramp up future production of their all-electric vehicles.

“Maybe bigger than all the lithium-ion production in the world today or at least on par with it,” Musk said in an earnings call last week.

Musk would only say the factory would likely be built somewhere in North America.

With more people driving electric cars, there’s a much greater demand for the raw materials in lithium-ion batteries.

Eric Wesoff, editor-in-chief of Greentech Media, said eventually if this plan were to go through, there would be impacts on the world’s lithium supply since it is the raw material that goes into batteries.

Wesoff said the U.S. could someday be beholden to lithium producing countries like Chile. Musk said he does not expect raw materials to be a problem in the near future.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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