How do you see the shift towards electric vehicles and its impact on commodity markets? - Trading Class | Trading Courses | Trading Webinars
  • No products in the cart.

Table of Contents
< Back to All Categories

How do you see the shift towards electric vehicles and its impact on commodity markets?

The Shift Towards Electric Vehicles and Its Impact on Commodity Markets

The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) has increased significantly as a result of the ongoing transformation of the transportation sector due to rapid technological advancements and environmental considerations. This phenomenon has the potential to disrupt and reshape various sectors of the global economy, including the commodity markets. The manufacturing process of electric vehicles requires different raw materials than those of traditional combustion-engine vehicles, provoking a considerable shift in the demand for specific commodities.

Demand for Lithium and Cobalt-Electric Vehicles

Perhaps some of the most significant effects of the boom in electric vehicles can be observed in the markets for lithium and cobalt, key elements in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, the predominant type of rechargeable battery for electric vehicles.


Lithium, a lightweight and highly reactive metal, plays a crucial role in the production of efficient, long-lasting batteries for EVs. The rising demand for electric vehicles heralds a surge in lithium demand, translating into a buoyant market for this commodity. According to the London Metal Exchange, the use of lithium in electric vehicle batteries will be the main factor driving its consumption to triple by 2025. This projected growth in demand has sparked exploration and development activities in various regions, potentially providing lucrative opportunities for investors and market participants.


Similar to lithium, cobalt is another essential ingredient in lithium-ion batteries. Cobalt improves battery stability and lifespan, leading to its high demand in the EV industry. The Democratic Republic of Congo, unfortunately plagued by concerns over ethical sourcing, supplies most of the world’s cobalt, and intriguing geopolitical implications are attached to its rising demand.

While the strong EV adoption scenario certainly puts upward pressure on cobalt prices, there is an ongoing effort in battery technology innovation to reduce the cobalt content due to its cost and ethical issues. Technological advances may thus temper cobalt’s long-term pricing outlook.

Demand Shifts for Copper and Aluminium—Electric Vehicles


Electric vehicles and their charging infrastructure use large amounts of copper. A typical electric vehicle may contain four times more copper than a conventional vehicle. Infrastructure for charging stations will also require significant amounts of this red metal. Thus, the growth in the EV market is likely to lead to increased demand for copper, driving its price upward.


To ensure the efficiency of electric vehicles, manufacturers aim to keep them as lightweight as possible without compromising safety. Hence, aluminium, which is far lighter than steel, has also seen increased demand. Growth in the consumption of aluminium by the EV industry can replace part of the demand displaced from the waning automotive combustion engine market.

Implications for Crude Oil—Electric Vehicles

As the transition to electric vehicles reduces the world’s reliance on oil-fueled automobiles, demand for crude oil may stagnate or even decline, potentially pressuring oil prices in the long-term. This scenario is a significant concern for oil-dependent nations and offers an impetus for diversification away from oil.

Last Thoughts

The shift towards electric vehicles brings about an era of exceptional changes and challenges for traders and investors in the commodity markets. Stakeholders in lithium, cobalt, copper, and aluminium markets are posed to realize significant profits as demand for these materials soars. At the same time, crude oil, a previously unrivalled commodity, may experience demand slackening due to its diminishing role in transportation.

Keeping track of technological advances in battery technology, manufacturing processes, and energy supply can give traders and investors a competitive edge in understanding and anticipating these demand shifts in commodity markets.

The shift towards sustainable technologies such as electric vehicles, driven by environmental concerns, illustrates how technological and environmental factors intertwine to reshape commodity markets fundamentally, offering both challenges and opportunities for market participants.