Copper Powers Green Transportation that Leads to Progressive Economic Impacts

In today’s society, transportation methods are finding ways to make altercations to manufacturing processes in order to become more sustainable and reduce their environmental footprint. Back in 1948, the average family car contained only 55 copper wires, amounting to a length of 150 feet. Fast forward to the present day and you will see more that 50 pounds of copper in a typical American made automobile. Today’s luxury cars contain some 1,500 copper wires, totaling to about one mile in length. This change shows the progress being made in the technology and manufacturing sector in order to but more fuel efficient cars on the road.

The Toyota Prius offers an EPA-estimated 50 mpg city and highway combined. According to fueleconomy.gov, compared to the average car, Prius could have saved an estimated 1.445 billion gallons of gas in the U.S. since 2000.
The Toyota Prius offers an EPA-estimated 50 mpg city and highway combined. According to fueleconomy.gov, compared to the average car, Prius could have saved an estimated 1.445 billion gallons of gas in the U.S. since 2000.

For example, the Toyota Prius, a full hybrid electronic mid-size hatchback, relies on copper wiring to power its nickel based batteries as well as computer chips to power the car and cut carbon emissions. Many other vehicles are catching on to the trend and future generations oh hybrid and electronic cars plan on using even more copper. Electronic motors with copper rotors are shown to offer advantages over other types of materials, including increased efficiency, smaller size, and lower operating costs.

boston-hybrid-taxi
Following the examples of New York and San Francisco, Boston has implemented sustainability plans to make all taxis hybrids by 2015.

 It’s not just consumer cars – alternative forms of transportation, from buses to electronic trolleys and subways use an average of 2,300 pounds of copper apiece. Rare metals like copper are proven to be critical to our economy, green energy and technology. New high-speed trains with electronic traction engines use double the amount of copper than traditional electron trains. The International Copper Study Group revealed that the new engines use from 3 to 4 tons of copper. By supplying more high-speed trains to the marketplace, economies around the world as a whole will benefit. For example, as emerging economies experience an increasing middle class population, the demand for labor in the construction sector will increase. Once high-speed rail travel is put into place, cities across the globe will see lower highway congestion, lower emissions, and lower trade deficits stemming from less imports of crude oil.

Shanghai Metal Corporation offers copper alloys that are used in supplying overhead cables for high-speed trains. Visit our website for more information of our full line of products and on our commitment to building value across the globe. Be sure to join the conversation on our LinkedIn group, Facebook, and Twitter.

Sources: Copper Matters, The International Copper Study Group, Granite Investment Advisors, USA Today, Toyota.com

By: Kristie K. // SMC Editor 

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