Electric vehicle trailblazer Tesla could need up to 1.15 million tonnes of nickel a year — almost 50 per cent of current global supply — by 2030 to meet ambitious production targets.

Tesla is jumping into cathode and battery cell production as part of plans to reduce battery costs by 50 per cent and scale production to 3,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) by 2030.

That’s far greater than any major battery manufacturer has announced, according to Wood Mackenzie.

“We estimate the total planned cell manufacturing capacity, excluding Tesla, to be 1,300 GWh by 2030,” the consultancy says.

“Tesla’s announcement is more than twice the total global pipeline capacity.”

>>Scroll down for the performance of 54 ASX nickel stocks

Initial estimates from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence suggest that Tesla’s nickel-based battery cells could account for 1350GWh of this ambitious production figure.

That’s a lot of nickel.

Which is partly why this figure is unlikely to be achieved – even if global nickel production does reach a projected 4.3 million tonnes a year by 2030.

“Tesla would face stiff competition for supply from other cell producers ramping up their own nickel-rich battery capacity, and the stainless-steel industry,” Benchmark reports.

“Ultimately, from Benchmark’s perspective, the 3 TWh [terrawatt-hour] cell production figure is unlikely to be achieved when raw material availability and forecasted market demand are considered.”

Nonetheless, the figure is a statement of intent from Tesla, Benchmark says.

“Furthermore, Tesla’s proclamations undoubtedly help fuel the bullish outlook for nickel demand from the EV industry and underscores the necessity for further upstream investment in raw materials to help come some way towards meeting the potential exponential growth in demand.”

In September, the Benchmark Nickel Price Assessment recorded a 7.9 per cent and 2.1 per cent increase in domestic Chinese and international nickel sulphate prices, respectively.

This fairly healthy nickel price, plus that shout out from Elon Musk, has put the spotlight back on a number of hard-working ASX-listed nickel stocks.

Here’s how 54 ASX-listed nickel exposed stocks have performed over the last 12 months

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort. Best viewed on a laptop:

CODE COMPANY PRICE 1 MONTH RETURN % 6 MONTH RETURN % 1 YEAR RETURN % MARKET CAP
CHN Chalice Gold Mines 2.6 76 386 1200 $ 793,361,532.60
LEG Legend Mining 0.145 -12 7 292 $ 374,953,000.94
MAN Mandrake Resources 0.065 12 550 282 $ 17,241,960.34
SBR Sabre Resources 0.011 57 1000 267 $ 12,506,462.58
SLZ Sultan Resources 0.22 -12 193 261 $ 12,018,186.50
ARV Artemis Resources 0.13 65 519 233 $ 151,178,580.50
DEV Devex Resources 0.29 38 517 205 $ 66,434,536.80
BSX Blackstone 0.435 -16 314 200 $ 128,873,823.61
STK Strickland Metals 0.073 22 387 192 $ 31,775,715.60
IPT Impact Minerals 0.024 0 300 167 $ 40,875,261.60
IPT Impact Minerals 0.024 0 300 167 $ 40,875,261.60
CZI Cassini Resources 0.22 -4 219 159 $ 97,147,853.44
CTM Centaurus Metals 0.51 0 386 143 $ 159,670,008.40
CNJ Conico 0.018 29 200 125 $ 9,373,392.56
RXL Rox Resources 0.054 -18 200 116 $ 106,383,080.08
LTR Liontown Resources 0.21 56 176 112 $ 327,663,858.37
AQD Ausquest 0.03 -3 173 100 $ 20,319,980.43
PGM Platina Resources 0.047 -8 194 81 $ 19,396,151.66
ESR Estrella Resources 0.014 -13 133 75 $ 10,285,069.16
S2R S2 Resources 0.285 63 256 73 $ 79,022,250.65
ALY Alchemy Resources 0.02 11 71 57 $ 13,444,869.06
PM1 Pure Minerals 0.028 65 180 56 $ 19,104,749.95
VMC Venus Metals 0.26 7 75 54 $ 39,280,457.58
GAL Galileo Mining 0.2 -43 18 54 $ 29,335,747.03
OZL OZ Minerals 13.8 -7 96 48 $ 4,344,456,564.00
MOH Moho Resources 0.11 -4 62 47 $ 7,648,476.77
BOA Boadicea Resources 0.29 14 32 45 $ 16,122,766.34
MCR Mincor Resources 0.83 -1 68 42 $ 360,152,226.72
CWX Carawine Resources 0.25 18 60 24 $ 20,349,906.46
AVL Australian Vanadium 0.013 8 86 18 $ 35,081,588.27
LIT Lithium Australia 0.051 -6 28 13 $ 40,405,542.34
ARL Ardea Resources 0.465 -20 107 9 $ 56,136,260.70
NIC Nickel Mines 0.675 -8 46 8 $ 1,393,905,265.51
CZN Corazon 0.0025 25 29 3 $ 6,506,718.29
GBR Great Boulder Resources 0.051 -7 89 0 $ 9,214,928.73
POS Poseidon Nickel 0.052 -13 63 0 $ 137,420,495.21
PUR Pursuit Minerals 0.01 -41 150 0 $ 4,801,093.16
ATM Aneka Tambang 1 0 0 0 $ 1,303,649.00
BHP BHP Group 36.1 -6 21 -1 $ 103,458,300,957.28
CLQ Clean Teq 0.28 56 107 -3 $ 197,811,954.33
AZS Azure Minerals 0.215 26 264 -7 $ 44,805,634.15
BUX Buxton Resources 0.08 -30 82 -13 $ 10,204,157.40
G88 Golden Mile Resources 0.06 9 140 -17 $ 7,381,099.68
AOU Auroch Minerals 0.069 -15 90 -22 $ 15,493,632.42
SRI Sipa Resources 0.072 -17 50 -25 $ 12,573,913.90
IGO IGO 4.21 -6 -3 -33 $ 2,404,543,928.38
RFR Rafaella Resources 0.08 0 60 -33 $ 7,246,045.68
SGQ St George Mining 0.105 -9 35 -36 $ 49,845,418.82
ESS Essential Metals 0.11 13 22 -39 $ 17,350,789.11
AUZ Australian Mines 0.0145 -15 81 -40 $ 51,498,900.05
HNR Hannans 0.006 -14 20 -40 $ 13,915,681.77
PNN PepinNini Minerals 0.145 42 63 -46 $ 2,930,772.63
PAN Panoramic Resources 0.096 13 -1 -59 $ 190,735,002.37
MLX Metals X 0.07 -16 4 -62 $ 62,601,358.62