Copper demand to be boosted by electric vehicles

Copper demand to be boosted by electric vehicles

Study by ICA foresees wiring for an additional 24 million electric vehicles globally by 2027.

A study released in June 2017 by the New York-based International Copper Association (ICA) foresees a nearly tenfold global increase in demand for copper from the electric vehicle (EV) sector by 2027.


Based on research conducted by United Kingdom-based IDTechEx, the ICA says, “By 2027, an estimated 27 million EVs will be on the road, up from 3 million in 2017. This will raise copper demand in EVs from 185,000 metric tons in 2017 to 1.74 million metric tons in 2027,” the ICA adds.


The ICA notes there are several types of EVs comprising this total, including hybrid vehicles.


According to the ICA and IDTechEx research, the average internal combustion engine vehicle contains 23 kilograms (50.7 pounds) of copper. That compares to these averages for various types of electric and hybrid vehicles:


hybrid electric vehicle (HEV): 40 kilograms (88.2 pounds);

plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV): 60 kilograms (132 pounds);

battery electric vehicle (BEV): 83 kilograms (183 pounds);

hybrid electric bus (Ebus HEV): 89 kilograms (196 pounds); and

battery-powered electric bus (Ebus BEV): 224 to 369 kilograms (494 to 813 pounds).


Beyond the vehicles themselves, IDTechEx and ICA remark that “Each EV charger will add 0.7 kilograms (1.5 pounds) of copper,” and that “fast chargers can add up to 8 kilograms (17.6 pounds) of copper each.”


A fact sheet summarizing the study can be found on the ICA website here.