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Elon Musk mulls mining venture for Tesla to produce electric car batteries

Olivia Rudgard
Elon Musk made the bold claim during the Tesla shareholder's annual general meeting on Tuesday - AP

Tesla could go into the mining business in order to produce its batteries more quickly, Elon Musk has claimed. 

The company is working on improving its battery production and technology, the chief executive said at the company's annual shareholder meeting.

"We might get into the mining business, I don’t know. We’ll do whatever we can to make sure we can scale as fast as possible," he said.

The California-based electric car company will also make a car which can drive 400 miles between charges.

"I want to be clear there is not a demand problem," he said. "Sales have far exceeded production and production has been pretty good. 

"We’ve a decent shot at a record quarter on every level. If not it’s going to be very close."

Tesla struggled to deliver as many cars to customers in its first financial quarter compared to the prior three months Credit: Getty

Tesla will also unveil its first pick-up truck this summer, which Mr Musk called "the coolest I've ever seen," adding: "If you’re driving it down a road it will look like you came out of a sci-fi movie." 

He also said the company had a design for an aquatic car similar to the one which appeared in the Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. 

"It’s technically possible. I think the market for this will be small. Small but enthusiastic. "Maybe we’ll make one as a show car at some point. That would be really fun," he said.

The company enjoyed two consecutive quarters of profitability at the end of last year but returned to a deficit in the first quarter of this year, losing $702m. 

Tesla's shares rose 3.4pc after hours on the presentation, which came after shareholders rejected two proposals designed to give them more power including removing the requirement for a two-thirds vote on certain decisions and reducing the term served by directors. 

Announcing the results, general counsel Jonathan Chang said the required support from two-thirds of shareholders had not been met for either proposal, even though the board had recommended voting for both. 

Two directors were returned to the board and the other proposals supported by the company were passed. 

Mr Musk also reiterated plans to establish a network of self-driving cars, telling shareholders that their cars would be able to take them "from the garage to your parking space at work without intervention" later this year using the company's Autopilot system. Human supervision would still be required.