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David Fickling

Tesla Trauma Shows the Lithium Market Needs a Chill Pill

This could be a healthy reality check for electric vehicle mania.

Tesla batteries probably account for only about 2 percent of global lithium demand.

Tesla batteries probably account for only about 2 percent of global lithium demand.

Photographer: Chris Keane/Bloomberg

Isn’t lithium meant to be a mood stabilizer?

That’s certainly not what’s happening in the stocks of companies that produce the element used in rechargeable batteries and psychiatric medications. News this week that Tesla Inc. sent a memo to some suppliers asking them for payment rebates to help it become profitable shook shares in lithium miners.