Move to electric cars will boost demand for minerals, says Glencore chief
London — On Tuesday, Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg said the rise of electric cars will significantly boost demand for minerals, including copper and lithium, in the coming decades.
"The electric vehicle revolution is happening and its impact is likely to be felt faster than expected," he told investors at an industry conference in Barcelona. Almost all car-makers are increasing investment in electric vehicles as governments adopt tighter emissions targets, he added.
Electric vehicles require more copper wiring than standard internal combustion engines. For example, the battery in an electric car contains about 38kg of copper, 11kg of cobalt and 11kg of nickel, according to Glencore. These materials, along with manganese, stand to benefit from more demand for electric cars, Glasenberg said.
Demand is growing for battery-powered vehicles. European sales of alternative-fuel models, which include fully electric cars as well as hybrid vehicles, jumped 36% in the first quarter to 235,438 units, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.
Volkswagen will triple spending on developing alternatives to combustion engines to €9bn ($9.8bn) over the next five years. Daimler’s bill for the transformation stands at €10bn.
• Peter Grauer, the chairman of Bloomberg LP, is a senior independent non-executive director at Glencore