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Copper demand for electric cars to rise nine-fold by 2027 -ICA
June 13, 2017 / 6:29 AM / 3 months ago

Copper demand for electric cars to rise nine-fold by 2027 -ICA

    MELBOURNE, June 13 (Reuters) - The growing number of
electric vehicles hitting roads is set to fuel a nine-fold
increase in copper demand from the sector over the coming
decade, according to an industry report on Tuesday. 
    Electric or hybrid cars and buses are expected to reach 27
million by 2027, up from 3 million this year, according to a
report by consultancy IDTechEx, commissioned by the
International Copper Association (ICA). 
    "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," IDTechEx Senior Technology Analyst
Franco Gonzalez said in the report. 
    "Our research predicts this increase will raise copper
demand for electric cars and buses from 185,000 tonnes in 2017
to 1.74 million tonnes in 2027," Gonzalez said.
    Electric vehicles use a substantial amount of copper in
their batteries and in the windings and copper rotors used in
electric motors. A single car can have up to six kilometres of
copper wiring, according to the ICA. 
    The global market for copper is around 23.9 million tonnes,
according to the International Copper Study Group.
    That suggests electric vehicles could account for about 6
percent of global copper demand in ten years, according to
analyst estimates, rising from less than 1 percent this year. 
    The electric car market is still concentrated in a limited
number of countries, according to a report by the International
Energy Agency (IEA) last week. 
    Globally, 95 percent of electric car sales take place in
just ten countries - China, the United States, Japan, Canada,
Norway, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden -
the IEA said.
    Still, the IEA expects there is a "good chance" that 
electric vehicles in use globally could reach carmaker estimates
of between 9 million and 20 million by 2020 and between 40
million and 70 million by 2025.     
    While cars using internal combustion engines require up to
23 kg of copper each, the ICA report found that a hybrid
electric vehicle uses nearly double that amount at 40 kg of
copper, and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle uses 60 kg. 
    Depending on the size of battery, an electric bus can use
between 224 kg and 369 kg of copper. 
    Charging infrastructure for electric cars was another source
of demand, the ICA report said. 
    Further out, the expected growth in vehicles that use
roof-mounted solar panels would also require copper. 
    
 Copper use in electric vehicles                                
 Internal combustion engine:               23 kg of copper
 Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV):            40 kg of copper.
 Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV):   60 kg of copper.
 Battery electric vehicle (BEV             83 kg of copper
 Hybrid electric bus (Ebus HEV):           89 kg of copper
 Battery-powered electric bus (Ebus BEV):  224–369 kg of copper*
                                                                
 * Battery size dependent                                       
 
    

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Tom Hogue)
  

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