Published: 08 Feb 2018

Gold in an automotive sector

Gold applications are all around us. Highly conductive and corrosion resistant, the metal is an essential component in everyday electronic devices. In addition, the use of gold in medicine and chemistry is critical to a range of other well-known products and processes too. In many ways, gold is the ‘hidden element’ quietly playing a vital role in the functioning of things we take for granted.

Important change is underway in the automotive sector namely, the drive towards broader uptake of hybrid and fully electrical vehicles. This is likely to have an important impact on demand for gold and other metals in the longer term – particularly those connected to battery technologies, such as cobalt and lithium.

This will affect gold demand too. A wide range of chips are already used within the automotive sector, and as electrification continues to take hold, we see demand for these chips rising.

Applications are broad, ranging from engine and braking-system management through to in-car connectivity and entertainment systems, with each requiring a range of high-end electronic components such as light emitting diodes (LED’s) and printed circuit boards (PCB’s).

Longer term, the prospect of autonomous vehicles should fuel yet more demand for gold via the inclusion of high-end electronics, such as collision-avoidance systems.