By Cameron Chai
According to a new report titled ‘Strategic Analysis of Plastics in the Electric Vehicles Market in Europe and North America’ from Frost & Sullivan, the market reached $0.5 million in revenues in 2010 and is expected to reach a value of $73 million by 2017.
The report predicts a strong growth for plastics usage in electric vehicles as the production of these vehicles is expected to grow at a rate of more than 80% CAGR until 2017. The demand to improve the mileage of electric vehicles and the intrinsic qualities of plastics, especially its light weight, will be the drivers for increased penetration rates.
The new analysis discusses thermal management system materials, battery casing plastics, power train plastics, and cable and wire plastic materials. Since the electric vehicles market is growing, the consumption of plastics in this market is anticipated to increase.
Metals, due to their crash-resistance properties and strength, will continue to be used for making major structural components, including motors and gears. Nevertheless, plastics show promise in some minor non-moving components, which include casing materials, fans, pumps, cooling pipes, and energy recovery devices.
The level of plastics usage is different in these components. For instance, plastics are preferred materials for cooling pipes and fans, while in casing materials and energy recovery devices, their penetration varies between low and moderate. However, the intrinsic qualities of plastics will play a major role in their strong growth in these segments.
Shree Vidhyaa Karunanidhi, a Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan, stated that plastics have reduced scope in electric vehicles when compared to traditional, gasoline-fuelled vehicles, a key barrier for the market. Market players will face a challenge in the form of European Union end-of-life vehicle recycling law that demands the utilization of recyclable materials. This problem can be resolved through the development of recycling technologies to ensure the sustainability of plastics in the long run.