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It’s Coming Your Way. The Electric Vehicle, That Is.

May 3rd, 2011

By Bob Weed, Copper Development Association, Vice President OEM

Are you ready for an electric vehicle (EV)? According to Ford Motor Co., you are – especially if you live in one of the top 25 cities that are stepping up their EV preparations and infrastructure. But what you might not know is this: Nobody would be ready for EVs without copper – a key resource for both the electric car and the infrastructure that helps make them run.

Copper has the highest conductivity of any metal that can be practically used for conveying electricity. And the innovative technology that supports electric vehicles — from charging stations to power electronics and batteries – will also benefit from copper and its unique properties.

Ford Focus Electric at the Auto Show in Shanghai 2011

The average car produced in North America has 50-55 pounds of copper in it. In an electric car, the amount of copper can triple – to more than 150 pounds. More than two-thirds of the copper is in a car’s wiring harness and electrical components. Copper also is found in propulsion motors, regenerative braking systems, battery pack conductors and audio-visual accessories. The Copper Development Association (CDA) supports the auto industry’s promotion of more widespread EV use.

“The use of more electrically-fueled vehicles is good for energy independence in this country, good for the environment and will have a very positive impact on the amount of copper that’s used in a vehicle,” says Bob Weed, CDA Vice President OEM. “From our research, it appears that most vehicle charging will take place at home and at work, but this will require significant planning and preparation.”

Ford Focus Electric

Ford this week identified some key actions that cities and their utility partners should take to get ready for EVs and plug-in hybrids:

  • A utility rate structure that encourages “off-peak” or nighttime EV charging. That will ease demand on the city’s electric grid.
  • A streamlined permitting and inspection process to support customer and commercial EV infrastructure installation.
  • Cooperation among utilities, vehicle manufacturers and dealers, municipalities, EV customers and local coalitions.
  • Urban planning to support the construction of charging stations.
  • Incentives for business and consumers to offset a portion of the costs for hardware/installation.

So take note if you’re thinking of buying a new car. Thanks to copper & your city’s preparations, an EV might be your best choice. Here’s the list of the 25 top cities for EVs in alphabetical order: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Hartford, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh, Richmond, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, D.C.


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