A 2016 study conducted by The Martec Group reveals concerns about a decrease in demand for copper automotive wire harnesses is unfounded. According to Martec’s research, by 2020, nearly 95% of automotive wire harnesses will remain copper. In fact, copper demand in automotive wire harnesses is expected to grow to 1.15 million tonnes globally by 2020—up from 1 million tonnes in 2015. The Martec Group’s study, which was supported by the ICA, indicates that growth in electronic feature content (i.e., infotainment/navigation, telemetry, automated safety systems and autonomous driving demand) will support demand.
The copper use intensity in electric and hybrid vehicles is higher compared to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. This fact will underpin demand in the future. Although manufacturers are trending toward making smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, the research confirms the overall future impact on copper to be minimal.
The study also shows overall global vehicle production is expected to increase from around 93 million vehicles in 2016 to almost 102 million by 2020.