Can electric cars and an expanding global economy power the next commodity supercycle? – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – December 27, 2017)

Besides the expected ramp-up in electric vehicle manufacturing, economists are predicting that rising global economic growth will make 2018 the year when base metals shine

Mining executive Russell Hallbauer is palpably excited about the components that go inside electric cars.

The chief executive of Vancouver-based Taseko Mines Ltd. can give a detailed description of the length and thickness of the solid copper bus bar that transmits power from each Tesla car’s lithium ion battery to its wheel motors. “That piece of copper probably weighs 50 pounds,” he said.

Hallbauer’s enthusiasm for electric cars is warranted. The market for such vehicles is expected to grow to 11 million cars sold in 2025 from 330,000 in 2015 , according to Morningstar forecasts, and copper miners such as Taseko expect that will create a lot of demand for copper bus bars.

Not only that, he expects even more copper will be needed to build out the infrastructure — new power lines, electric vehicle charging stations and generating stations — to accommodate all those electric vehicles hitting the streets.

In addition to enjoying the ramp-up in electric vehicles, economists expect miners of base metals such as aluminum, copper, nickel and zinc will benefit as the world’s major economies grow in tandem for the first time since 2008, which economists expect they will do during the next two years at least.

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