AUSTIN (KXAN/CNBC) — Electric automaker Tesla is weighing another opportunity in Texas — a lithium hydroxide refining facility, according to a report from CNBC. Lithium is a metal used in electric vehicle batteries.
CNBC cites a letter from the company to the Texas Comptroller’s Office, where Tesla said the facility would produce “battery-grade lithium hydroxide.” Tesla said it wants to refine lithium hydroxide, so it’s ready for Tesla battery manufacturing factories.
In April of this year, CEO Elon Musk tweeted the “price of lithium has gone to insane levels.”
“Tesla might actually have to get into the mining & refining directly at scale, unless costs improve. There is no shortage of the element itself, as lithium is almost everywhere on Earth, but pace of extraction/refinement is slow,” the tweet read.
CNBC reported if Tesla’s plan gets approved, construction could start in the fourth quarter of 2022. “Commercial operations” are projected by the fourth quarter of 2024.
The project is still being weighed by Tesla, CNBC said, and only initial development stages have begun.
While the Texas gulf coast is a potential location, the company said it’s also looking at another site in Louisiana, the CNBC report stated.