EV Production Threatened By Lack of Essential Metal

(TotalConservative.com) – Proponents of eliminating gas-engine cars and going electric will be disappointed by the results of a recent study which found that current worldwide copper production would be insufficient to meet the demand for the projected amount of electric vehicles (EV).

On Wednesday, May 15, the University of Michigan released a study published by the International Energy Forum (IEF) about the mining of copper and “vehicle electrification.”

As noted in a recent report from Engineering & Technology, copper is a crucial component needed to generate, distribute, and store electricity, and it is a fundamental resource necessary for the successful implementation of any sort of policies that aim to promote the widespread use of EVs. The recent University of Michigan study shows that the projected demand for copper in the coming years needed to make such policies a reality simply cannot be met.

More than 700 copper mines operate around the world currently, according to GlobalData, and the largest is in Chile, which produced about 882,000 tons of the metal in 2023. That may seem like a lot of copper—and it is—yet the global electrification process has been rapidly increasing and outpacing the ability of miners to keep up with demand. The study’s authors went as far as to declare that it would be “essentially impossible” for the mining industry to produce the amount of metal needed.

One of the issues noted by the study is that EVs require anywhere from three to five times the amount of copper required by a traditional combustion engine vehicle. One professor pointed out that a Honda Accord, which is a popular and common car, only requires around 40 pounds of the metal while an electric battery version of the same car needs 200 pounds. Copper will not only be needed for the vehicles but also to upgrade the electricity grid to accommodate all of those vehicles.

The study looked at global data going back 120 years in copper production and produced a model of future projections. The results will be bad news for companies like Tesla, which leads the way in EV production and whose founder, Elon Musk, has single-handedly popularized battery-operated vehicles.

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