As electrification of the auto industry continues to accelerate rapidly, demand for metals that enable the shift from traditional combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles is increasing.

Most talk about EV materials has focused on cobalt, lithium and nickel, which are critical to battery production. However, a recent market update by the CME Group Inc. claims that copper will also play an important role in EVs.

“Not only is copper used within vehicle production, but [it’s] also intrinsic in the various elements of EV infrastructure,” says CME. “Conductivity of pure copper is second only to silver. With the advent of hybrid and battery electric vehicles, the amount of copper wiring used to power an automobile has increased.”

The CME Group report cites data from the Copper Development Association that claims an average of 183 pounds of copper is used in pure EVs vs. 85 pounds in hybrid vehicles.

According to the CME Group, additional EV demand for copper will be driven by charging station applications. While the charger itself does not have much copper in it, the wires used to connect the charger to the electrical panel, as well as the charging cable itself, are the main sources of copper.

A report by Wood Mackenzie predicts there will be more than 20 million EV charging points worldwide by the end of this decade. Those applications will consume 250 percent more copper than in 2019.