During a meeting with investors to present the latest financial results, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent barbs at Apple, criticizing Apple’s “walled garden” and making remarks about the use of cobalt (a key component of lithium-ion batteries).

As part of a discussion about plans to allow Tesla’s competitors to use its charging network, Musk reportedly said he did not want to create a “walled garden” as a cudgel against competitors, alluding to Apple’s practices with the App Store.

“I want to emphasize that our goal is to support the advent of sustainable energy,” Musk reportedly said in response to a question about allowing competitors to use his charging network. “It’s not to create a walled garden and use it to club our competitors like some companies do,” faking a cough at the end of the sentence and clearly pronouncing the word “Apple”.

The term “walled garden” is a reference to Apple’s closure of the iOS/iPadOS platform, which is fully controlled by Cupertino. It is Apple that decides what software can be distributed and installed on iPhones and iPads, forcing developers and users to go through the App Store.

Elon Musk costretto a lasciare il posto di presidente di Tesla, resterà CEOElon Musk costretto a lasciare il posto di presidente di Tesla, resterà CEO

Speaking about Tesla’s batteries, Musk again referred to Apple. He explained that many people mistakenly believe that Tesla uses a lot of cobalt, an element required for the cells in electronic devices’ lithium-ion batteries, saying that Apple is instead the one that uses cobalt the most.

“Apple I think uses almost 100 percent cobalt in their batteries, cell phones and laptops while Tesla uses no cobalt in iron-phosphate packs, and almost none at all in nickel-based products,” Musk reported. And again, “On a weighted average basis we can use 2% cobalt versus 100% used by Apple.”

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Cobalt is a key component required in the electrical industry to make the cathode, the negative pole of batteries, a material that comes mainly from the Congo, feeding a supply chain known to be a hell of abuse of workers, child exploitation, starvation wages, death and disease. The extracted material ends up in China, a country that dominates the Congolese cobalt supply chain with several companies that in turn sell the material in question to companies that produce batterie.

Each year, Apple publishes a report with specific updates on our progress toward meeting environmental and labor standards. For example, in 2020, 100 percent of the tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold, cobalt, and other elements used in Apple’s supply chain all came from certified sources. Apple has long been committed to responsible materials initiatives and has put in place several mineral sourcing initiatives that include supply chain transparency and supplier auditing.