Innovation in EVs seen denting copper demand growth potential

Innovation in EVs

Innovation in electric vehicles (EVs) is expected to dent the growth potential of copper demand, as automakers like Tesla engineer vehicles that reduce the metal’s content. While the EV market continues to expand, the adoption of more efficient technologies has led to weight reduction and cost-cutting measures, resulting in lower copper requirements per vehicle. 

Analysts from Goldman Sachs and CRU Group have revised their copper usage estimates for EVs, predicting a decrease in copper content due to engineering advancements aimed at improving range and efficiency. 

These changes include the use of more compact batteries, thinner copper foil, and higher voltage systems that require less wiring. Tesla, for instance, plans to reduce copper needs by adopting a 48-volt system for secondary batteries. Although reduced copper usage poses a potential threat to demand, the increasing penetration rate of EVs helps offset the impact. 

CRU predicts that EVs and plug-in hybrids will constitute 42% of global vehicle sales by 2030. While the innovation in EV technology may limit copper demand, the overall growth of the EV market is still expected to drive significant copper consumption in the coming years.

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