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Plug-in electric vehicles set to drive copper demand by more than 500,000 tonnes by 2027

With the conversation around electric vehivles and plug in electric vehivcles continuing to grow around the world, what imnpact will this have on the demand for copper?

New research from the International Copper Association (ICA) has revealed that the risingnumber of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) will drive a total copper demand of 560,000 tonnes of copper through to 2027.

New demand for PEVs will also see an increase to 102,000 tonnes due to the “crucial role” that copper will continue to play in port charging cables and unites, and wiring to electrical panels.

In 2018, around 1-2% of global car sales is attributed to PEVs. But the research has also revealed that as technological developments, Co2 regulations and concerns surrounding air pollution will drive an increase to close to 14% by 2027.

‘This research underscores the vital role copper plays within PEV charging infrastructure,’ says Colin Bennett, Global Manager, Market Analysis and Outreach, ICA. ‘We are at an exciting moment for the copper industry, as the PEV market grows and continues to have a positive impact on society.’

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‘The amount of copper inside residential charging units is modest compared to the wiring installed to connect chargers to electrical panels, meaning a change in deployment—from charging at home to commercial charging—could require four to nine times as much copper, depending on the extent of the shift,’ says John Gartner, Director at Navigant Research.

 The same is true for the type of charger used. Higher power requires more copper because of the need for larger gauge wires, so a faster uptake in direct current (DC) charging would significantly increase copper demand. Equally, policies requiring buildings to have charging facilities installed would have a major impact.