2017 is the tipping point for electric vehicles says BHP

An executive from the world’s largest mining company BHP (ASX:BHP) has indicated that 2017 is set to be the turning point for electric cars, as demand for crucial commodities begins to accelerate.

Speaking at an event in Singapore Arnoud Balhuizen, chief commercial officer at BHP said: “In September 2016 we published a blog and we set the question – could 2017 be the year of the electric vehicle revolution?

“The answer is yes. 2017 is the revolution year we have been speaking about. And copper is the metal of the future.”

Demand for copper is set to boom from the electric vehicle (EV) market, as four times as much copper is required in the construction of EVs, compared to traditional combustible engine cars.

BHP is well-placed to capitalise on this increasing demand with its Escondida and Spence mines in Chile and the Olympic Dam in Australia. Last month, the mining giant revealed it would extend the life of the Spence mine by over 50 years.

BHP forecasts that the global EV fleet could rise to 140 million by 2035, but Balhuizen highlighted a number of mitigating factors which could impact the development of the industry.

“The reality is a mid-sized EV still needs subsidies to compete… so a lot will depend on batteries, on policy, on infrastructure,” said the executive.