Copper demand & Ev Market

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Green copper demand to average 13% annual growth over next 10 years.1

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Up to 3.5x the amount of copper is needed for electric cars compared to conventional cars and between 11x – 16x for buses.

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The roughly 25 million tonnes per year that is baseline global consumption is going to be challenged, and quickly. Wood Mackenzie believes by 2030, over 20 million EV charging points will be deployed globally, consuming over 250% more copper than in 2019.


Goldman Sachs predicts that by 2030, copper demand will grow nearly 600% to 5.4mn tonnes. In North America, the EV market will have a value of $2.7bn by 2021 and $18.6bn by 2030. By 2040, passenger EVs alone will consume more than 3.7mn tonnes of copper annually.

The global battery metals market was valued at $11.3 billion in 2019, and is projected to reach $20.5 billion by 2027.



Supply chain disruptions and government recognition of the strategic importance of battery metals have fast-tracked the development of domestic battery production. Domestically sourced Rare Earth Elements (REEs) are important to the industry, but copper is important not only to battery production, but to the entire electrification of the economy.

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Lithium demand could soon outstrip supply.

YoY demand increased 161% for lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium market facing a supply deficit as demand could increase by 900% in the next decade.

Lithium prices have surged 123% year-to-date and are up as much as 10x versus historical levels.

Global EV sales doubled from 3.3 million units to 6.6 million units between 2020 and 2021 and increased by another 52% in 2022.

Depending on the method of lithium extraction, bringing new capacity online can take 3–5 years or more.

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Electric vehicles are driving the surge in lithium demand.

Lithium supply is likely to lag lithium demand through the first half of the decade. In the short term, notable lithium mining capacity is set to come online in late 2023 and early 2024. These new projects could cut into the deficit in 2023, but surging EV sales are expected to result in sizeable shortages again in 2024 and 2025.

EVs could account for about 84% of total lithium demand in 2030, up from about 55% in 2021.


electric vehicle demand

Growth is being driven by consumer demand, environmental necessity and government incentives.

The 8 million electric vehicles on the road internationally in 2019 are expected to increase to 50 million by 2025 and almost 140 million vehicles by 2030. 1

EV sales are expected to reach almost 14 million vehicles in 2025 and 25 million vehicles in 2030. 1

Lead by electric buses and light trucks, annual commercial EV sales are expected to top 3 million by 2025 and triple to nearly 9 million by 2030. Annual commercial vehicle sales are projected to reach 6.4 million by 2050, while global stock will swell to 54 million. 3

  1. International Energy Agency, Global EV Outlook 2020   
  2. Bloomberg NEF via Federal Consortium For Advanced Batteries (FCAB)
  3. Wood Mackenzie, Feb. 2021

* Including plug-in hybrids and light vehicles, excluding commercial vehicles.  Sources: ACEA, CAAM, InsideEVs, KAIDA

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The shift away from Internal Combustion (IC) to EV and Hybrids is massive with copper and other battery metals central to the outcome.

The battery electric vehicle (BEV) market is expected to surpass $300 billion USD by 2027, as reported in a research study by Global Market Insights Inc. 

In North America, GM has committed to be all-electric by 2035, Chrysler by 2028, Ford has committed to 40% Evs by 2030, VW targets 1.5 million vehicles built by 2025 and Toyota plans to sell 3.5 million units of 30 EV models by 2030. (All figures from manufacturer’s websites).

According to Fortune Business Insights, the global electric vehicle market size was $287.36 billion in 2021, projected to grow to $1,318.22 billion USD in 2028 at a CAGR of 24.3%.

BloombergNEF’s (BNEF) latest report estimating that electric vehicles represent a $7 trillion global market opportunity between today and 2030 and a $46 trillion opportunity between now and 2050, under their Economic Transition Scenario.

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Many metals, but especially copper, are critical to the electrification of the economy, well beyond electric vehicles.



According to the Edison Electric Institute, the U.S. electric transmission network consists of more than 600,000 circuit miles of lines, 240,000 of which are considered high-voltage lines (230 Kilovolts and greater). Copper is a key material component of transmission, which consists of structural frames, conductor lines, cables, transformers, circuit breakers, switches and substations. 


Solar power generation requires 5.5 tons of copper per MW


A 3 megawatt (MW) wind turbine contains up to 4.7 TONS OF COPPER, and often remote locations require extensive cabling to connect to the grid, especially offshore wind farms.


The copper industry needs to spend upwards of $100 billion to counter an estimated annual shortfall of 4.7 million metric tons by 2030 as the clean power and transport sectors expand exponentially, according to estimates from CRU Group. The potential shortfall could reach 10 million tons if no new mines get built, according to commodities trader Trafigura Group.

Global refined copper production is expected to reach 27.61 million tonnes in 2025, growing at a CAGR of 2.94%, for the time period 2021-2025

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The Biden administration’s recent infrastructure bill, with billions of dollars in government funding, relies heavily on copper-intensive industries. 1

$39 Billion

to modernize public transit, with an emphasis on zero-emissions vehicles

$65 Billion

investment in improving the nation’s broadband infrastructure

$17 Billion

in port infrastructure and $25 billion in airports to, among other things, promote electrification and other low-carbon technologies

$7.5 Billion

for zero- and low-emission buses and ferries, aiming to deliver thousands of electric school buses to districts across the country

$7.5 Billion

would go to building a nationwide network of plugin electric vehicle chargers

$65 Billion

to rebuild the electric grid including building thousands of miles of new power lines and expanding renewable energy

TOTAL: $201 Billion in spending, all demanding copper


Copper: Key to the battery metals market

Copper is the most widely used metal in energy storage, generation and transmission infrastructure. It is also the next most used metal after aluminum and steel in the construction, telecommunications, transportation, and automobile manufacturing sectors. This broad demand has created an estimated annual shortfall of 4.7 million metric tons by 2030 as the clean power and transport sectors expand exponentially, according to estimates from CRU Group.

The potential shortfall could reach 10 million tons if no new mines get built, according to commodities trader Trafigura Group.1

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