All modern vehicles require a small amount of copper as a conductor in wiring, fittings, and other electrical equipment.
why copper? The best conductor is silver, but it is not economical due to its high cost. Copper also offers a durable yet flexible solution to flexibility requirements.
Busbars are solid copper strips used to connect battery cells and modules. Automakers are changing the way cells are connected, and new cell packaging methods can greatly reduce the need for busbars.
The Battery Management System (BMS) is used for voltage leveling, diagnostics, and cell monitoring and requires wiring to connect to the battery modules. Several companies are researching wireless BMS, but not many automakers are working on setting it up.
Battery capacity, system voltage, cell integration method, and cell format are some of the variables that affect the amount of copper used in batteries.
As mentioned in , we expect the average battery pack size to at least remain flat. previous blog.
Prismatic cells generally use less copper for busbars than cylindrical or pouch cells, and even less for long-format ‘blade’ cells combined with module-less cell-to-pack technology. This reduces the number of busbars between cells and packs. Several automakers are working on the concept and estimate that at least half of all BEVs will use it by the end of the decade.
Doubling the operating voltage can significantly reduce the copper used in busbars, charger cables, and motor cables. Several automakers are working on 800V architectures.
The current trend is to incorporate the inverter and the electric motor into one unit, requiring only a short busbar to connect the two, rather than cable connections.
Elsewhere, motor coils or windings are used in all forms of electric motors. In general, copper usage depends on motor size and power, and similar to battery size, average motor power is expected to plateau.
https://lmc-auto.com/news-and-insights/will-bevs-really-drive-demand-for-more-copper/ Will BEV really drive demand for copper?