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An executive from BHP Billiton says 2017 has been a tipping point for the electric vehicle and that demand for copper will rise accordingly.

During an interview, chief commercial officer at BHP, Arnoud Balhuizen revealed that the mining company believes that there could be 140 million electric vehicles on the roads by the year 2035.

“In September 2016 we published a blog and we set the question - could 2017 be the year of the electric vehicle revolution? Yes, 2017 is the revolution year we have been speaking about. And copper is the metal of the future,” Balhuizen told The Independent.

The executive says that EVs require about four times as much copper in their construction than petrol and diesel vehicles. Despite the surge in demand for copper this will create, there have been no new major discoveries of copper for over 20 years, meaning supply could be stretched in the coming decades.

Interestingly, Balhuizen believes that over the next 10 to 15 years, more fuel efficient internal combustion engine vehicles will have a larger impact on falling demand for oil than the rise of electric vehicles will.


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