Tesla has begun construction on its in-house lithium refinery in the greater Corpus Christi area of Texas. The facility represents a $1 billion investment in Southwest Texas and is a critical step in Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. This project aims to significantly increase the supply of battery-grade lithium hydroxide available in North America.
Why It Matters
As the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy solutions continues to rise, the need for a reliable supply of battery-grade lithium hydroxide is essential. By constructing this refinery, Tesla is actively contributing to the growth of sustainable energy solutions in North America. The new facility will also feature the first industrial deployment of an acid-free lithium refining route, eliminating the use of hazardous reagents and byproducts in favor of more inert options. The byproduct from this facility, a mixture of sand and limestone, can be utilized in the production of construction materials.
The 1,200+ acre site will employ an environmentally friendly refining process, and in the future, is expected to process other intermediate lithium feedstocks such as recycled batteries and manufacturing scrap. The construction effort will create nearly 1,000 jobs, while the facility will employ over 250 full-time employees, including production technicians, operations managers, and engineering roles.
Tesla is also committed to building talent pipelines in the greater Coastal Bend area through various educational investments. These include support for the Robstown Independent School District, apprenticeship pathways at Del Mar Community College, and internship opportunities with Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
Tesla’s groundbreaking lithium refinery project not only supports the growing demand for electric vehicles and renewable energy solutions but also showcases a commitment to environmentally friendly processes and local community development. With this facility, Tesla is poised to secure a reliable supply of battery-grade lithium hydroxide while also creating jobs, supporting education, and fostering talent in the greater Corpus Christi area.