Apple uses more cobalt than Tesla: says Elon Musk

Apple uses more cobalt than Tesla: says Elon Musk

Tech giant Apple uses almost 100 per cent cobalt in the batteries of its popular products like iPhones and iPads, while uses no cobalt and nearly none in its nickel-based batteries, Elon Musk said. After earning a robust net profit in the second quarter (Q2) of 2021, the Tesla CEO argued that Apple uses more cobalt in its batteries than Tesla’s overall use of the hazardous material.

Cobalt is a naturally occurring element, which is extracted from the earth's crust. It is widely used in batteries despite the fact that it is a toxic element. Exposure to cobalt dust may cause some serious health issues, with symptoms ranging from shortness of breath to decreased pulmonary function and permanent disability. Moreover, some cobalt mined in places like Congo has been linked to human rights abuses such as child labor.

Criticizing Apple for making high use of cobalt, Musk argued that Tesla Motors doesn’t use cobalt in its products. He claimed that Tesla’s use of cobalt is just 2 percent compared to Apple's 100 per cent cobalt use.

Speaking on the topic, Musk said, “Tesla uses no Cobalt and almost none in the nickel-based chemistries. On a weighted average basis, we might use 2% Cobalt compared to say Apple's 100% Cobalt. There is somehow a misconception that Tesla uses a lot of Cobalt, but we actually don't.”

Musk’s comments surfaced after the earning call, in which the company reported a record $1.14 billion net income generated in the April to June quarter of 2021. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based EV pioneer’s revenue grew to $11.96 billion in the Q2 of this year from $6.04 billion in the corresponding quarter of last year. However, it is worth-noting here that Tesla’s manufacturing facilities remained closed for more than six weeks last year due to local lockdown orders issued to fight back the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Q2 performance figures reported by Tesla are much better than analysts’ average expectation of $11.3 billion in revenue. Not including items, Tesla reported a profit of $1.45 per share, which easily outshined analysts’ average expectation of 98 cents per share.

In the past, Tesla's profitability often relied on selling of regulatory credits to other automobile companies. The second quarter of this year marked the first time when the EV giant earned a big profit without selling these credits. Revenue from the credits accounted for just $354 million in the company’s $1.14 billion quarterly net income.