Tesla Champions Ethical Sourcing: Initiates Unprecedented Audit of Battery Supply Chain

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla offers to have a third-party audit of its battery suppliers
Tesla offers to have a third-party audit of its battery suppliers
Tesla

In a bold and unequivocal commitment to ethical practices, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, recently pledged that the company would initiate an independent audit of its battery material suppliers. This resolution has been determined irrespective of the shareholders' rejection of the proposal during a recent meeting. Underlining the gravity of his commitment, Musk declared on Twitter, "And I will review the audit personally. If you drive a Tesla, you should be able to believe in it to your core.”

In an unprecedented gesture of transparency, Musk proposed placing a webcam in the mines, urging the public to report any instance of child labor. This innovative approach shows the company's dedication to ethical mining practices and their efforts to open the entire process to public scrutiny.

Tesla’s decision to conduct this audit is rooted in the company's ongoing commitment to eradicating unethical labor practices from its supply chain, especially those related to cobalt mining. Cobalt, an integral component in many batteries, has been linked to exploitative labor practices in the past, leading to a storm of controversy within the electric vehicle industry.

Contrasting Cobalt Usage: Tesla's Minimal Dependence versus Smartphone Industry's Heavy Reliance

Unlike other companies, Tesla has made considerable strides in limiting cobalt usage in its batteries by utilizing iron-based and nickel-based alternatives, thereby significantly reducing its reliance on this controversial mineral. However, Musk points out that the consumer electronics industry, particularly smartphones, continues to depend heavily on cobalt.

In a pointed remark during the shareholders’ meeting, Musk highlighted that while Tesla uses a nominal amount of cobalt, smartphones utilize it completely. This information is critical for those interested in the ethical sourcing of materials, as it shifts some of the focus towards other sectors that have not taken similar measures to reduce cobalt dependency.

Since 2019, Tesla has been a part of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT), an initiative that mandates its members to implement measures against prohibited labor forms. This affiliation and active collaboration with the Responsible Business Alliance underscores Tesla’s commitment to ethical labor practices and transparent sourcing.

Tesla's Hands-On Approach: Visit to Cobalt Mines in the DRC

In a hands-on display of this commitment, a Tesla team visited cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) last year. During this trip, they interacted with local stakeholders and NGOs, highlighting their active role in addressing health, safety, and child labor issues in the industry.

By proceeding with the third-party audit despite the shareholders' disapproval, Tesla has showcased its unwavering stand on ethical sourcing and transparency. This groundbreaking decision not only reinforces Tesla's integrity but also sets a remarkable example for the entire industry.

Tesla Cybertruck to Receive Charging Improvements in Upcoming Update

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Former Tesla VP of Powertrain and Energy Drew Baglino previously mentioned that Cybertruck would be receiving charging improvements soon.

Wes Morrill, Tesla’s Cybertruck lead engineer, recently reposted Baglino’s comments on the charge speed update on June 16th and mentioned that it would be coming soon via OTA.

Charging Improvements

The 4680 cell has seen some difficulties in its charge curve, similar to Tesla’s other vehicles that have been deployed with the 4680. Tesla has alluded to difficulties in the manufacturing curve previously, and also with engineering improvements to the new cell standard, and eventually stopped manufacturing the Model Y with the 4680 cells.

However, this is the first time that Tesla has begun to deploy major improvements to the 4680 cell. It appears the improvements will allow up to 154 miles to be recovered in 15 minutes, which is approximately a 30% improvement to current charge rates.

We’re hoping that these improvements to the 4680 will also translate to older Model Y vehicles that have 4680 cells, which will be key to the owners of these vehicles. 4680 production is currently mainly focused on Powerwall, Megapack, and Cybertruck – with Semi not using 4680 yet.

Tesla Model 3 Long Range Now Eligible for $7.5K Tax Credit

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

In the US, the Model 3 Long Range has now become fully eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs.

Federal Tax Credit

The federal tax credit is up to $7,500 USD off at the point of sale, which applies to EVs with batteries originating from the United States. The Model 3 Performance was launched with the EV tax credit, which meant that until now, it was cheaper to purchase than the Model 3 Long Range.

Interestingly, after this change, the Model 3 Long Range is only $1,000 USD more expensive than the Model 3 Rear Wheel Drive, as the RWD model is not eligible for the credit. The LFP batteries in the RWD model are from CATL in China, and thus mark it as ineligible.

At $40,000 USD, the Model 3 Long Range is now an even better deal than before – and is nearly $7,500 less (the amount of the credit), than the average new car in the United States.

Canadian EV Credits

In Canada, Tesla dropped the Model 3 RWD price by $1,000 CAD, in response to the province of  British Colombia reducing the upper limit of their EV credit MSRP range. This means that the Model 3 RWD is the only Tesla vehicle that is covered under the new BC rebate – which is one of the few provincial rebates still left standing.

Sadly, as a result of this change, and due to a weird classification gimmick, the Model Y is considered a sedan by the Government of BC and is completely ineligible for the additional rebates – but the $5,000 federal EV rebate still applies.

Tesla vehicles accounted for 80% of federal EV rebate applications in Canada in 2023, marking a net increase since last year at 60%.

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