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Tesla/Panasonic cobalt source

Tesla/Panasonic cobalt source

Dear Tesla Community,

I am new here and I am still waiting for my own Tesla delivery.
First of all- apologies if a similar topic/question has risen before, I couldn't find a "search function" on the forum.

I get a lot of criticism for buying an EV, in fact much more than any assurances or compliments.
Of course I did some research and if somebody is willing to have a fruitful discussion I have a good set of arguments.
However, there is one topic I don't have any profound knowledge of and that would be Tesla´s or Panasonic´s source
of cobalt.
What I can find online is that most of the world's cobalt supply comes from DRC and apparently it is very often being
mined under highly questionable methods involving child labour and inhumane working conditions.

I admit that so far I have nothing to hold up against these claims and it would be quite disappointing if nobody at Tesla
would address this issue or even pay attention. I know Mr. Musk announced he wants cobalt out of his batteries but
apparently science is years away from such a breakthrough if at all...

Personally, I think Tesla should pay much more attention on their image as a company that promotes sustainability!
I am convinced EV´s are the right move but it would be a big set back to find out that nobody cares where the required
materials come from.

So, does anybody know where Tesla and Panasonic obtain their cobalt from and do they assure a "clean" supply chain?
Any information is highly appreciated!

jordanrichard | 10. März 2019

“Any information......”, ya, get new friends.

In five years of attending car shows, talking to people in parking lots about my car, NEVER has anyone asked about cobalt or anything about what goes into a battery.

I have had a few comment about how the electricity is made, referencing that coal is dirty. I then point out that at least here in New England, only 11.86% of our electricity is derived from burning coal not all of it as they think.

I have also literally only 2 people ask about what becomes of the batteries after they are used up.

El Mirio | 10. März 2019

Yes its clean supply and has been addressed many years ago, their cobalt comes form Canada, additionally they reduced cobalt content to bare minimum, targeting zero cobalt content.

martinzeh | 10. März 2019

Thanks for the info guys!
Safe charging and driving!

Earl and Nagin ... | 11. März 2019

@martinzeh,
I'll also add to what others have pointed out:
Unlike with a petroleum burner that destroys its materials, EV batteries, like lead acid starter batteries, will be recycled, meaning that any valuable materials in them (copper, nickel, cobalt, maybe lithium etc) will be reprocessed and made into a new battery.

martinzeh | 12. März 2019

Thank you Earl, good point!

NoMoPetrol | 13. März 2019

There is a company already researching the business potential for the recycling of EV battery packs from junkyards to be repurposed for energy storage.

Yodrak. | 13. März 2019

"I get a lot of criticism for buying an EV ..."

Ask those who criticize you for buying an EV if they own a mobile phone, _pad, or laptop computer, and if they also criticize people who buy those and other portable electronic devices.

kcheng | 13. März 2019

"So, does anybody know where Tesla and Panasonic obtain their cobalt from and do they assure a "clean" supply chain?"

If Tesla had a clean source of cobalt, Elon would have tweeted it. There are companies working on sourcing cobalt directly from mining companies. It's the artisanal mines that are using child labor. So far Apple has locked up a long-term supply directly from mining companies. SK is also working on locking up a direct supply. And, a couple car companies are working on it as well. This may be easier for a cash-rich company like Apple, to lock up a clean supply of cobalt, since they can prepay and sign 5yr contracts. Tesla, being a bit cash-poor, may not have that option.