Tesla Energy director Mark Twidell believes Australia is well-positioned to become a large supplier of lithium as demand for electric cars and large energy storage units continues to rise.
Mark Twidell stood in for Tesla Chairman Robyn Denholm at the Southstart entrepreneurs conference in Adelaide recently. During the event, the Tesla executive said that Australia had a big opportunity in exporting lithium around the world.
“Australia has the raw materials in abundance like no other nation on Earth,” Twidell said at the conference.
Lithium prices declined in 2020, partly due to the pandemic. At the beginning of 2021, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence stated that it expected the lithium market to come into tightness.
“But the speed of price increases in Q1 2021 was beyond expectation, with prices for lithium carbonate having nearly doubled in price since the beginning of the year,” George Miller told the Investing News Network (INN). “Furthermore, shortages and sold out order books in Q1 were a stark change from Q4 2020, where lithium chemicals were freely available to consumers at lower prices.”
As the automobile industry embraces battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and the energy industry starts incorporating sustainable solutions with large battery storage units, demand for lithium will continue to grow. Tesla’s Twidell believes Australia has the opportunity to be at the forefront of exporting “climate solutions.”
“Let’s actually increase the benefits to Australia,” he said, adding that the lithium-ion battery value chain is forecasted to be $400 billion by 2030.
During the TSLA first-quarter earnings call, Elon Musk firmly stated the critical role lithium-ion batteries will play in solving the energy storage problem.
“There’s no question in my mind whatsoever that the energy storage problem can be solved with lithium-ion batteries, zero. I want to be clear, zero. I think the bias will tend to be toward iron-based lithium-ion cells.”