Lithium Producer Chases Tesla’s Bold Battery Plan

Simbol MaterialsMarch 16, 2014, New York Times -Last month, Tesla Motors, the maker of high-end electric cars, announced plans to open the world’s largest battery plant in 2017. The goal is to overcome what it calls the biggest obstacle to meeting increased demand for its vehicles: a reliable supply of the advanced batteries that power them.

To accomplish that, Tesla will need plenty of battery-grade lithium. That’s where Simbol Materials comes in.

Simbol, based in Pleasanton, Calif., is preparing to break ground on its own commercial plant in August, which would put it on track to start production around the same time Tesla’s plant is scheduled to open. The Simbol plant will be the first to use a unique process to extract lithium from a novel source: the waste from geothermal power plants.

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