Speaking at the Clean Energy Summit in Sydney today, Tesla chair Robyn Denholm pointed out Australia’s unique position of having more Tesla Powerwall home batteries installed than it has Tesla electric vehicles on its roads.
Australia has installed more than 33,000 Tesla Powerwall home battery systems to date, accounting for a nearly 12% share of the company’s total global installations.
On the other hand, Australia has only around 26,500 Tesla electric vehicles (EVs) on the road so far – though Denholm said momentum is growing rapidly. “I personally wouldn’t be surprised if we double that number by the end of the year,” she said. This would equate to more than 50,000 vehicles.
While its EVs are coming from a smaller base, the growth across all of Tesla’s key markets in Australia has been massive –increasing roughly six-fold since 2019. This is slightly higher than its average global growth, which Denholm outlined was around five-fold.
Amusing as Australia’s storage predilections may be, Denholm also iterated another point of difference: Australia currently produces 50% of the globe’s raw lithium, making it the largest producer, but accounts for just 7% of the refined lithium products.
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She urged leaders to focus on translating the country’s mineral wealth into a large-scale battery manufacturing industry. “The world the world simply cannot build battery cells fast enough,” she said.
“I can’t think of a technology that’s more important than lithium-ion batteries right now,” Denholm added. “To meet the challenge of climate change this entire industry needs to scale at sprinting pace.”
Tesla alone expects to need more than 3 TWh of lithium-ion batteries for EVs and energy storage by 2030 – three times the current global capacity which sits at around 1 TWh.
Instead of continuing to “hedge our bets with coal” through the introduction of measures like a capacity market, Denholm believes Australia would profit from focussing on battery storage and bringing more of the value chain onshore.
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