Copper Drives Electric Vehicles and Supporting Infrastructure

10 Sep 2018

National Drive Electric week started on September 8, as a nationwide celebration of plug-in vehicles and their benefits. In recognition of the week, here’s a snapshot of how copper is driving the EV evolution.

Copper ranks as an important conductor of electricity and has excellent anticorrosive properties, allowing it to be used across a wide range of energy-related technologies. Generators, motors, transformers and renewable energy systems, like solar and wind, all contain significant amounts of copper because of its conductivity, reliability and sustainability.

The growing EV market also relies heavily on man’s first metal. A recent report by the International Copper Association reveals that the number of electric and hybrid vehicles on the roads is expected to reach 27 million by 2027. EVs use more than three times the amount of copper used in gas cars. Depending on the model, electric vehicles use 85 to 183 pounds of copper, while conventional vehicles only need 18 to 49 pounds. This means that combined, electric vehicles will add 600,000 tons of copper demand in the market by 2027.

Copper also powers the infrastructure required to charge EV batteries. EV charging stations require significant amounts of the metal, with an estimated 260,068 metric tons of copper needed to power EV charging stations across North America by 2027.

Copper has long been a superior electric conductor of choice. As the world transitions from vehicles powered by fossil fuel to electricity, copper is paving the way.

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