In its exclusion request, the automaker claimed there are no domestic alternatives and requested an exclusion to import 10,000 tonnes of aluminium sheet.
The request, submitted in April, said, “Tesla has not found a US manufacturer capable of producing this aluminum sheet based on the specifications. The specifications of this aluminum sheet are unique to Tesla, as the aluminum sheet was designed specifically for use by Tesla in battery cells.”
The specifications for the aluminium sheet listed in the request are alloyed aluminium coil that has been hot rolled and cold rolled and is 73mm in width and 1mm in thickness.
Tesla uses the aluminium sheet in its energy storage products and Model 3 batteries, the company wrote.
“Tesla is the only US manufacturer of these battery types and planned production of these batteries will increase exponentially over the next few years. Tesla’s battery manufacturing operations in Nevada and vehicle production in California directly support over 30,000-plus jobs in the United States,” the exclusion request said.
The United States Commerce Department has granted Tesla’s request to import aluminium sheet from Japanese sheet producer Nippon Light Metal Co Ltd to use in battery cells.