Tesla raises prices in China, US for second time in days on rising costs

Beijing

TESLA raised its prices in China and the United States for the second time in less than a week, after CEO Elon Musk said the US electric carmaker was facing significant inflationary pressure in raw materials and logistics.

The increases come as costs of raw materials are surging, exacerbated by supply chain disruptions following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Prices of metals used in cars have soared, including aluminium that is used in the bodywork, palladium used in catalytic converters, and nickel and lithium that power electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

The costs have raised concerns about EV economics, as legacy automakers and startups prepare to launch new cars on the back of a long semiconductor supply crunch that is still knocking production at companies including Toyota and Volkswagen.

Tesla, which has a diversified supply chain, has bought "millions of euros worth of aluminium" from Russian aluminium giant Rusal, CNBC reported on Monday (Mar 14), citing internal documents.

Rusal's billionaire founder Oleg Deripaska has been sanctioned by Britain.

Tesla bought Rusal aluminium for casting parts at its new vehicle assembly plant outside of Berlin for the Tesla Model Y, among other things, CNBC said.

Tesla received a conditional go-ahead for its 5 billion euro (S$7.5 billion) German gigafactory earlier this month after months of delay.

Tesla and Rusal did not immediately respond to email seeking comment.

"Tesla & SpaceX are seeing significant recent inflation pressure in raw materials & logistics," Musk tweeted on Monday, referring to his rocket company. "And we are not alone," he said.

Tesla raised prices on Tuesday for all its models in the United States by 5-10 per cent, its website showed. In China, it raised prices of some China-made Model 3 and Model Y products by about 5 per cent.

Last week, the company increased prices of its US Model Y SUVs and Model 3 Long Range sedans and some China-made Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. REUTERS

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