Tesla Motors Inc.’s planned gigafactory battery plant is not just the biggest project that founder Elon Musk has ever attempted. It’s also not just the largest manufacturing project planned in the U.S. right now.
It’s a historically massive undertaking that could change the economics of the battery industry overnight — something that becomes clear when you look at the mass of raw materials the facility must consume to reach Tesla’s ambitious production goals.
Those are the conclusions of a yet-to-be-released report by Industrial Minerals Data, a research firm that focuses on raw materials used for industrial processes. Industrial Minerals analysts took a look at the potential market impact of the gigafactory on three key minerals: Lithium, graphite, and cobalt.