Copper Gets A Bump From Changing Automotive Industry

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 5:05am
Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 10:23am

One of Arizona's 5 C's is getting a boost from the automotive industry as electric carmakers demand more of the metal.

The automotive industry is among the world’s biggest copper consumers. It's used in a variety of auto parts including radiators, motors, brakes, and bearings.

According to the International Copper Association, a traditional internal combustion engine uses about half the amount of copper to run an as an electric copper content is even higher in plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles, at three and four times traditional autos.

Big copper mining companies, like Phoenix-based Freeport McMoRan and Southern Copper, are benefiting from the increased demand and so are worldwide prices of the metal. In early September, the copper ore hit a three-year high. The growing use of renewable energy worldwide, especially across Europe and China, are also expected to drive demand.

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