What Precious Metals Are Found in a Tesla?

Here’s a trick question for you.

If you visit an automobile junkyard and find a wrecked Tesla Model S sitting next to a wrecked 2005 Ford Crown Victoria, which one of them contains more precious metal? And if you are someone who likes to collect and recycle precious metal scrap, which one should you pull apart?

The answer is, you should attack the Ford, and leave the Tesla alone. Why? Because the Ford has a catalytic converter that can be recycled, and the all-electric Tesla doesn’t.  

So from a precious metals point of view, the Tesla is actually worth less.

So, What Materials Are Used to Make a Tesla?

Here’s a list from “The Extraordinary Raw Materials in a Tesla Model S,” an article on the Visual Capitalist Blog:

  • Aluminum – Each Tesla contains about 410 pounds of this lightweight metal, used mostly in its body and undercarriage.

  • Boron steel – This high-strength steel alloy is used to reinforce the body and chassis where needed.

  • Titanium – The car’s battery, which sits low in the chassis, is largely encased in protective titanium. 

  • Plastic, leather and carbon fiber – These are the main materials used in the Tesla’s interior.

What Precious Metals Are Found in a Tesla.jpg

And What’s in a Tesla’s Battery?

Weighting about 1,200 pounds, the battery is huge. (It’s an electric car, remember?) But although you will find valuable materials in the battery, you will not find much in the way of precious metals, only other metals and materials  . . .

  • Aluminum

  • Cobalt

  • Copper

  • Graphite

  • Lithium

  • Nickel

What Does this Mean for the Future of Precious Metal Investing?

If we are moving toward a time when electric cars take over our roads and highways, that could one day reduce the availability of precious metal scrap. So this could be a good time to “strike while the iron is hot” and acquire automotive electronics and catalytic converters while they are still easy to find.

If you have automotive scrap to recycle including catalytic converters (500 units or more), call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 to speak with our precious metal experts.

Related Posts

Will You Get More Money by Donating Your Old Car to Charity or by Recycling the Precious Metals It Contains?
Scrapyard Treasure Hunting
Cash in Today on Huge Stocks of Scrapped Catalytic Converters 
Where Are Precious Metals Hiding in Junked Cars?
What Is That Huge Catalytic Converter You Just Pulled Off a Truck or Bus?