Tesla partners on battery supply chain in Western Australia

BHP will supply Tesla, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles and battery storage systems, with nickel from its Nickel West assets in WA.

The agreement today ratified between Tesla Inc and BHP will see the companies collaborate on ways to make the battery supply chain more sustainable.

It is understood one of the primary objectives is to promote end-to-end raw material traceability.

Production of the right-hand-drive 2022 Tesla Model Y begun recently at the company’s Chinese factory, with Australian deliveries expected in late 2021.

Meanwhile reports have claimed the Tesla Semi drive axle production was nearing readiness in Nevada ahead of its long awaited launch.

Despite yet having to overcome width regulations prohibiting its use on Australian highways under current design laws, the Tesla Semi has more than 500 outstanding orders for it in North America where demand is expected to increase pressure on its battery production capabilities.

In Western Australia raw materials are a key plank behind the State’s future battery strategy.

The McGowan Government claims it is the only state to have a clear strategy to support the development of the industry and also has all the battery minerals needed to make a battery.

An independent report recently completed by Accenture supports the claim.

According to the report, Future Charge: Building Australia’s Battery Industries, Australia can compete in several segments of the global battery industry, including refining, active materials manufacturing and battery manufacturing.

The report, prepared for the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre, of which the Western Australian Government and BHP Nickel West are participants, identif WA’s significant role in the global future battery industry.

It estimated the industry will contribute $7.4 billion per year to Australia’s economy and create 34,700 jobs by 2030.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said the agreement further emphasised Western Australia’s standing as the number one mining jurisdiction in the world.

“Today’s announcement not only highlights that Western Australia hosts the best quality raw materials integral to the world’s decarbonisation efforts, it also reinforces the level of comfort global brands have in investing in the State knowing that raw materials are responsibly sourced,” he said.

“As investors and the community are increasingly holding mining companies to the highest ESG standards and practices, the supply agreement between BHP and Tesla reflects the regulatory framework in place in Western Australia that ensures the sustainable production of battery materials.”