Billionaire Elon Musk is no stranger to offering investment advice or making business forecasts. He was at it again when he urged U.S.-based companies to invest more money and resources into domestic lithium production during Tesla’s first-quarter earnings call last week.
Tesla, a maker of electric-powered cars, uses lithium in its batteries. The world’s second-richest man, who leads Tesla, The Boring Co., Twitter and SpaceX, said there is plenty of lithium ore and tapping it could help fuel the move to electric vehicles.
“We have by far the most lithium refining capability and the most cathode refining capability in North America, I think, probably more than anywhere else combined, by a lot,” Musk said. “So, can other people please do this work. That would be great. We’re begging you. We don’t want to do it! Instead of making a picture-sharing app, please refine lithium. Mining and refining. Heavy industry. Come on!”
Tesla is building a lithium refinery at Corpus Christi, Texas, and a cathode refinery just outside Austin, Texas.
Musk’s previous opinions on business and other issues have drawn some skepticism. He has said the world would be in a global recession through the spring of 2024 and that commercial flights to Mars could become a thing by the end of this decade.