Tesla Will Switch to 48V Low-Voltage System in Cars to Significantly Reduce Use of Copper

Tesla Will Switch to 48V Low-Voltage System in Cars to Significantly Reduce Use of Copper

Image: Tesla

Tesla will switch to 48V low-voltage system in its cars, starting with Cybertruck. According to information from CEO Elon Musk, this will help significantly reduce the use of copper in the company's cars, which is an important breakthrough.

Tesla held its annual shareholder meeting on May 16. Musk gave several important updates on the company's development and upcoming plans. Among other things, he talked about a new low-voltage system of cars, which will bring significant changes in the amount of copper needed for them, which will have a dramatic impact on the company's demand for the metal.

Musk confirmed that Tesla is switching its models' low-voltage system from 12 volts to 48 volts. He said the change will take effect starting with Cybertruck, which will begin production this year, and Optimus. Then, all future cars to be produced by the company will also use the 48V low-voltage system

“Cars have been operating with 12V batteries for basically about a century, so for the first time in I think over a hundred years we're actually going to change from 12V outside of the drivetrain to a 48V architecture,” said Musk.

In traditional 12-volt systems, wiring and components have to be larger and heavier to withstand the high electrical loads. However, with a 48V system, Tesla expects to reduce weight and save on materials. This should lead to less use of copper in its cars. According to the assumption, only a quarter of the amount currently used will be needed.

“First approximation, that means we only need about a quarter as much copper in the car as would be needed for a 12V battery, so that's a big deal because people often worry about whether there is enough copper,” Musk said. “Yes, there is.”

Each Tesla car uses tens of kilograms of copper. In some models, they weigh as much as 82 kilograms. The Tesla Model S, for example, uses a mile of copper just to connect the battery to all the electronics.

Tesla has set a goal of producing 20 million cars per year. According to MINING.COM, the company will need 1,820,000 tons of copper to reach that goal, about 9 percent of global production in 2022. Based on Musk's prediction of reducing to a quarter of today's copper consumption, the company could save more than 1.3 million tons in annual production of 20 million electric cars, or more than $10 billion in today's prices.

© 2023, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.


We appreciate your readership! Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

Article edited by @SmokeyShorts; follow him on Twitter

About the Author

Eva Fox

Eva Fox

Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.

Follow me on X


Tesla Has Highest Brand Loyalty in Industry, Says Citi
SpaceX transports new Starship prototype to launch pad to embark on a rigorous test campaign with orbit in sight

Tesla Accessories