A series of experimental tests were carried out using copper contact wire rubbing against carbon strip under electric current on a pin-on-disc test. The aim to experiment can be understand the roles of the thermal wear in severe wear of copper/carbon strip under electrical current passage. During testing, the contact temperature and friction coefficient were recorded. The wear volumes of carbon strip specimens were measured. The results indicate that the temperature rise of contact couple with and without electric current is distinctly different. And the friction coefficient increases firstly due to the accumulation of wear debris, and then decreases with the increasing of electric current due to the accumulation of electric heat and friction heat on contact interface. It can be found that the wear volumes of carbon strip samples with electric current are larger than those without electrical current. Several thermal wear tests were conducted to study the influence of the temperature on the wear of carbon strip samples. The result indicates that thermal wear, oxidation wear and abrasive wear are a main mechanism for the severe wear of carbon strip samples.