The end is in sight for the machine that changed the world; the internal combustion engine will imminently give way to Electric Vehicles (EV) in the future.
In fact major European countries have pledged to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars over the next few decades. This global shift from internal combustion to electric cars is attracting investors to mining from a group which previously focused only on the tech sector.
Amongst other implications to the mining, metals smelting, mineral processing, power generation and petrochemical refining industries, the following is worth noting:
- Fully electric vehicles require four times as much copper as cars that run on combustion engines, the EV boom will increase demand for copper significantly.
- Lithium-ion batteries which have been widely used in cellphones are largely being scaled up to EV size, the EV boom will increase cobalt, lithium and other metals’ demand significantly.
- Impact on the Petrochemical industry will not be immediate as the existing combustion cars will continue to consume fuel
- Additional Electrical power generation capacity will be needed as the number of EV increases. Sources are likely to be renewable, but could in other cases be fossil fuel based power stations.
Despite the current global mining challenges which have affected mining regions around the world and the plummeting commodity prices, the future looks bright in the advent of the fourth Industrial revolution for the mining, metals smelting, mineral processing, power generation and petrochemical refining industries.