The Upward Trajectory of EV Sales—and the Copper Required to Meet It

CopperCorp CEO Steve Swatton reports on the staggering trends for EV sales and the copper we’ll need to meet that demand.

A recent MotorTrend article reported that Americans bought 1,236,429 electric vehicles in 2021, a new record. Of these, 801,550 were hybrids and 434,879 were battery EVs. The sales data, compiled by Reuters, noted that hybrid sales jumped by 76 percent over 2020. EV sales were 83 percent higher.

Worldwide, the sales trends for EVs are equally impressive. Have a look at this chart, supplied by the International Energy Agency:

GLOBAL ELECTRIC PASSENGER CAR STOCK, 2010-2020

Clearly, EV demand is on a serious upward trajectory with no end in sight.

One EV = A Kilometer of Copper Wire

It’s staggering to think that a standard EV requires about a kilometer of copper wiring, or anywhere from 60-83 kilograms. That’s up to four times as much copper as combustion engine vehicles. And that doesn’t even factor in the copper required for charging stations.

We May Need 380% More Copper for EVs Alone

Wood Mackenzie, an energy and metals researcher, expects end-use copper demand from passenger EVs (including hybrids) to jump to around 2.9 million tonnes over the next decade from roughly 600,000 tonnes in 2021. That’s an increase of 380% in ten years.

 

What this means is that, considering all the other sectors demanding more copper, including infrastructure, wind and solar power and new technology, the world will need a lot more copper than it’s currently mining.

Meeting This Demand Responsibly

This exploding demand is one reason we formed CopperCorp. The other is that we also saw a great need for responsible copper—sourcing copper from jurisdictions where stable, democratic governments provide security of supply, environmental protection, healthy communities, and good jobs.

That’s why we’re exploring in Tasmania, a region powered 100% by renewable energy. Tasmania embraces mining with governance that empowers its people, communities and environment to source essential metals responsibly.

We’ll be exploring our projects in Tasmania throughout 2022. Sign up here to stay informed as we announce progress at Alpine and other company news.

Steve Swatton

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