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92% recovery for Tesla's battery cell

Tesla claims that it can recover up to 92% of its battery cell.

Unlike some of its competitors, Tesla is developping a battery recycling system and believes that its own closed-loop battery recycling process will result in significant savings over the long term as avoiding third parties induced costs associated to purchasing and transporting used and new materials.

At the end of 2020, Tesla installed the first phase of its cell recycling facility at Gigafactory Nevada.

Tending towards close loop material generation is key for a sustainable supply chain. The Tesla recycling facility is again, in my opinion, a visionary R&D project, which will probably be coveted in the future by its competitors.

"...Onsite recycling brings us one step closer to closing the loop on materials generation, allowing for raw material transfer straight to our nickel and cobalt suppliers."

We can note that Tesla is reshapping its battery supply chain for raw material sourcing. Below you can compare the 2020 table and the 2021 table showing new entrants. Russian and European raw materials sourcing were put aside.

The today challenges are reliability, stability (geopolitic, climat, regulations) and transparency of supply chains.

Tesla 2020 Impact Report

Tesla 2021 Impact Report

Another aspect to optimize battery supply chain and profitability stand in the technology used.

Tesla’s batteries today contain a variety of different cathode chemistries, including nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA) and nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) for higher energy applications and lithium iron phosphate (LFP) for lower energy applications. Tesla will continue to advance a diversified cathode strategy for LFP, nickel-rich and manganese-rich cathodes to address various market segments for vehicle and energy storage products and provide future flexibility based on raw materials availability and pricing. To put this into context, lithium only accounts for roughly 1.5% of the full battery pack weight. Additionally, iron phosphate battery packs contain no cobalt or nickel.

More info: RMI

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