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Tesla and BHP, a global mining company in Australia, signed a nickel supply agreement with each other recently.
BHP will supply Tesla with nickel from its Nickel West asset in Western Australia. The mining company assured that its Nickel West asset is one of the most sustainable and lowest carbon emission nickel producers in the world.
Tesla will also help BHP identify energy storage solutions to lower its carbon emissions during operations and increase the mining company’s use of renewable energy.
Talk of a possible nickel supply agreement between Tesla and the Australian mining company started last year in October. Eduard Haegel, the President of BHP’s Nickel West subsidiary, shared that the company boosted nickel production after Tesla CEO called for more nickel production.
In a 2020 earnings call, Musk called for nickel miners to produce more nickel. He explained how nickel could help Tesla solve its battery cell supply constraint.
“There’s like two general classes of cell, there’s like iron phosphate and then the nickel-based. The nickel-based cells have higher energy density, so longer range. Obviously, those are needed for something like a Semi where every unit of mass that you add in battery pack, you have to subtract in cargo,” he said.
Tesla Semi production might be starting soon after two years of delays. Cybertruck production also seems on track to begin later this year. Tesla’s recent deal with BHP suggests that the company may be moving much faster with Semi or Cybertruck production.