What’s the “dirty” secret of the electric car industry, for companies like Tesla and Volkswagen – How Musk got richer than Mark Zuckerberg
2020 turns out to be gold for Elon Musk. The share of Tesla, the company that produces electric cars and of which he is the leader, has broken all records. Since last summer it has gained about 700% and the race seems to have no end, although many analysts point out that this situation does not reflect the real economic data and the projected financial flows.
Tesla was founded in 2003 by two engineers and Elon Musk was one of the first three people to be “hired” and in fact considered co-founders. He was president and is now chief executive of the company, which last year won the title of the most successful electric car production company, while the sales increased by 50% compared to 2018.
However, it seems that the “secret” for electric cars is hidden in the batteries. The big game is being played there, as it is the evolution of battery technology that will allow vehicles to have more autonomy and shorter charging time.
The problem, however, for Musk, but also for the electronics industry as a whole, is that key material is a nickel, which allows batteries to be made with more energy capacity and, therefore, give the vehicle more range.
At the end of last July, Musk had publicly appealed to nickel mines to increase production and said Tesla is ready to sign huge-capacity contracts if mines mine nickel ‘in an efficient and environmentally sensitive manner’.
But here is the problem, as nickel mining is a process that is particularly harmful to the environment, as large quantities of toxic substances are released in the production, which, as a rule, end up in the sea, where they destroy marine life.
The Financial Times reports in an extensive report that nickel production is estimated to increase by 2030 and most of the new mining, almost all, will come from Indonesia, which is one of the largest producers of nickel in the world, together with Australia and Canada.
According to the report, Chinese investment in nickel mining, which provides for nine points of dumping of toxic waste at sea, is being promoted in Indonesia in an area famous for its unique coral reefs and sea turtles.
The method of dumping waste at sea is rejected by some producers who store the waste in land-based facilities, but it is cheaper and therefore used extensively by investments in Indonesia and other parts of the Papua New Guinea Sea to the Norwegian fjords. Nickel is also the “dirty” secret of the electric car industry, for companies like Tesla and Volkswagen, which promote the message that electric propulsion is more environmentally friendly than internal combustion engines and are “committed” to producing batteries more environmentally friendly.
Typically, in 2006, Elon Musk described Tesla’s vision, saying that the company aims to “accelerate the transition from an economy based on internal combustion engines and hydrocarbons to a solar economy.”
It seems, however, that it is difficult for Tesla, Volkswagen and the other companies to avoid the “dirty” nickel that will flood the global market.
Richer than Mark Zuckerberg
He’s been called silicon valley’s “Donald Trump.” Elon Musk is emerging as the third richest man in the world, with his fortune now valued at $115 billion.
With his rise, Elon Musk has a significant lead over Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, according to Bloomberg. The fortune of the founder of Facebook is estimated at 110 billion, while before Musk in the list of the richest in the world are the names of Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.