Frost & Sullivan Research Service   Published: 27 Dec 2011
Strategic Analysis of Plastics in the Electric Vehicles Market in Europe and North America
   Research Overview

This Frost & Sullivan research service titled Strategic Analysis of Plastics in the Electric Vehicles Market in Europe and North America offers a comprehensive overview of the market. It provides forecasts and trends and offers an analysis of demand and competitive trends. In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following market sectors: power train plastics, battery casing plastics, thermal management system materials and wire and cable plastic materials. 

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Market Overview 

Need to light weight Automobiles to Promote Use of Plastics in Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicle (EV) production is set to grow at a CAGR of over 80 per cent between 2010 and 2017, although from a small base. Plastics used in these vehicles are also influenced by this growth. Currently the penetration of plastics, baring thermal management systems and insulation for cables, is low.  However, the need to increase EV mile range, paralleled by the inherent advantages of plastics – particularly that of light weight and other performance properties– will drive penetration rates. 

The EV market is at a nascent stage. As the market takes off, it is set to have a positive ripple effect on the uptake of plastics. “Plastics for EVs are driven by light-weighting trends which, in turn, are fuelled by the need to improve EV mile range,” notes the analyst of this research. “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.” Important structural components such as gears and motors are made of metal. Strength and crash-resistance requirements indicate that metals will remain the preferred material for these applications. However, in some of the minor, non-moving components such as energy recovery devices, cooling pipes, pumps, fans, casing materials, plastics have huge potential. 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.

OEMs Need to Work with Tier-1 Suppliers to Ensure Sustainable, Long-term use of Plastics 

“The reduced scope for plastics in EVs in comparison to conventional, gasoline-fuelled vehicles poses a major restraint to market prospects,” cautions the analyst. “EU end-of-life vehicle (ELV) recycling legislation, which entails the use of recyclable materials, poses another challenge to market participants.” Although thermoplastics used in these cars are recyclable, automotive shredders are typically made up of different type of plastics. These need to be sorted out before they are recyclable.

Therefore, on the one hand there is a need to light weight cars to improve the mile range in EVs. On the other hand, ELV recycling legislation requires the OEMS to use recyclable materials. “This issue can be solved if OEMs work with tier-1 suppliers to develop recycling technologies,” advises the analyst. “This will ensure sustainable use of plastics in the long-term.” 

Market Sectors 

Expert Frost & Sullivan analysts thoroughly examine the following market sectors in this research:

  • Power train plastics
  • Battery casing plastics
  • Thermal management system materials
  • Wire and cable plastic materials

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  Table Of Contents

1. Executive Summary 

2. Market Overview

3. Total Electric Vehicles Plastics Market

   3.1 External Challenges: Drivers and Restraints

   3.2 Forecasts and Trends

   3.3 Demand Analysis

   3.4 Competitive Analysis

   3.5 Mega Trends and Industry Convergence Implications

   3.6 The CEO’s 360 Degree Perspective on the Electric Vehicle Materials Market  

4. Powertrain Materials Segment Breakdown

5. Battery Casing Materials Segment Breakdown 

6. Thermal Management System Materials Segment Breakdown

7. Wire and Cable Materials Segment Breakdown  

8. The Last Word

9. Appendix

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