- The price of Cobalt has been volatile in the past years. Lithium iron phosphate (LFP or LiFePO4) batteries are cheaper to make and contain no cobalt. Tesla will use LFP batteries in all Model 3 vehicles made in China with standard driving ranges, according to the sources.
- Cobalt is a vital component in the Lithium-Ion batteries, Metal cutting tools, and Leading Edge Logic Chips (Processors).
- More than half of the world’s cobalt is mined in the DRC. It is not known how many children work in mining in the DRC, but UNICEF estimated that in 2014 that approximately 40,000 children worked in mines across the southern DRC.
- Alternative sources of Cobalt include recycled batteries and electronic goods and fair trade sourcing from DRC and other Nations.
- Lithium sourcing from Bolivia remains an open ESH issue.
U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) is poised to start selling some Model 3 vehicles made in China equipped with cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, two people familiar with the matter said.