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Electric vehicles forecast to drive 250,000t copper demand rise in 2030

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Electric vehicles forecast to drive 250,000t copper demand rise in 2030

Two-thirds of the world’s vehicles are set to be electric by 2040, boosting copper demand for use in motors, batteries and charging stations, a webinar was told.

“We foresee copper demand rising roughly 68,000t in 2020 to 250,000t in 2030 across the different on-road electric vehicle categories,” said Luke Gear, senior technology analyst at market research firm IDTechEx, during a webinar organized by CRU Global

According to Gear, 50mn plug-in cars will be on the streets worldwide within the next 20 years and this will also lead to more use of recycled copper. 

Last week, a webinar organized by Chile’s mining chamber was told that a large part of future copper demand could be satisfied by scrap as the circular economy and traceability of products will change the supply valuation in the coming years.

Enel X Chile recently said that approximately 900 electric cars are currently on the country’s roads, but the figure is expected to reach 80,000 by 2030. The company plans to install 1,200 charging stations within the next five years in Chile. 

Figures from the International Copper Association (ICA) show that more than 40mn charging ports for electric vehicles will be needed in the next decade, involving the use of an extra 100,000t/y of copper by 2027. 

Latest figures from Chile’s copper commission Cochilco show that copper consumption will reach 45Mt/y by 2050, with 60% coming from demand for electric vehicles, telecommunications improvements and renewable energy. 

Chile’s state-owned Codelco, the world’s largest red metal miner, produced 1.58Mt of fine copper last year. 

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