Electric vehicles, an early harbinger of the adoption of greener technologies in many states,
will be one of the largest drivers of the expected increase in demand in copper over the next five years, says commodity analyst Robert Edwards. Today, less than 1% of the world’s vehicles are electric, but experts believe that by 2040 more than half of all new cars will run on electric technology, which use about four times more copper than gasoline-powered vehicles. However, the larger story is that the global infrastructure necessary to support more electric vehicles will also result in increased copper demand. The need for additional charging stations and upgrades to electric grids will support the sharp increase in global copper demand.

The data recently released by the International Copper Association shows that more than 40 million charging ports will be needed in the next ten years, in and of themselves consuming an additional 100,000 tons of copper a year by 2027. Consumption in the actual vehicle production industry will also weigh on demand, requiring between 3 and 5 million additional tons over the next ten years. These numbers could be even higher depending on adoption of greener technology in countries like Chile, Peru, and Argentina.