Plastic to greatly benefit from electric vehicle market
By Anthony Clark
Posted 29 May 2012
With the electric vehicle (EV) production set to grow at more than 80% CAGR until 2017, plastics used in these vehicles will also see a tremendous growth, that’s according to the latest research from Frost & Sullivan.
The analyst firm, in its report Strategic Analysis of Plastics in the Electric Vehicles Market in Europe and North America, predicts that plastics revenue from the sector will reach $73m by 2017, up from $0.5m in 2010.
"Plastics for EVs are driven by lightweighting trends which, in turn, are fuelled by the need to improve EV mile range," said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Shree Vidhyaa Karunanidhi. "EVs are typically characterised by huge batteries which add to the overall weight of the vehicle and affect the mile range. To compensate for the battery weight, metals are increasingly being substituted by plastic."
Strength and crash-resistance requirements indicate that metals will remain the preferred material for as gears and motors. However, plastics have huge potential in some of the minor, non-moving components such as energy recovery devices, cooling pipes, pumps, fans and casing materials.
The current level of penetration of plastics in these components varies. In the case of cooling pipes and fans, plastics are preferred, whereas for other components such as energy recovery devices (pedal and pump) and casing materials, plastics have low to moderate penetration. The inherent features of plastics are, nonetheless, set to push their rapid growth rate in these segments.
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