An industry report released on Tuesday suggests that due to the growing number of electric vehicles hitting the roads, the demand for copper to use in electric cars will increase nine-fold over the next coming decade.
It is expected that the number of electric cars and buses on the road will hit 27 million by 2027, which is up from 3 million vehicles in 2017, according to the report made by IDTechEx.
“Demand for electric vehicles is forecast to increase significantly over the next ten years as technology improves, the price gap with petrol cars is closed and more electric chargers are deployed,” says Senior Technology Analyst Franco Gonzalez of IDTechEx. “Our research predicts this increase will raise copper demand for electric cars and buses from 185,000 tons in 2017 to 1.74 million tons in 2027.”
Electric vehicles utilize a large amount of copper for batteries and copper rotors employed in electric motors. In fact, the International Copper Association (ICA) reports that a single electric vehicle can have up to six kilometers of copper wiring.
Currently, the global carbon market is around 23.9 million tons, which means that electric vehicles might cause a 6% increase in global copper demand over the next ten years, up from less than 1% this year.
Most electric car sales take place in only ten countries: China, the United States, Japan, Canada, Norway, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Britain, and Sweden.
While gas-powered vehicles use around 23 kg of copper each, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles use around 60 kg each. Depending on the size of the battery used, an electric bus requires between 224 kg and 369 kg of copper.