The Growing Trend of Light-Weight Vehicles to Drive the Market for Automotive Composites
The Automotive Composites Market was valued at US$6.032 billion in 2020 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7.13%, reaching a market size of US$9.768 billion by 2027. Automotive composites are employed in a variety of interior, exterior, structural, and other vehicle applications. The properties of automotive composites include low coefficients of thermal expansion, ease of production, shape retention, and corrosion resistance for performance in both dry and wet environments. Particulate, flake, fiber, carbon, and metal are the different categories of composite materials according to the geometry of the reinforcement. The car industry has been obliged to manage emissions due to rising environmental concerns and strict pollution control regulations. The curb weight is one of the most important variables impacting fuel economy and vehicle emissions. Reduced curb weight can significantly improve fuel economy, which in turn helps lower vehicle emissions. Demand for automotive composites is anticipated to increase over the projected period as a result of strict pollution control rules, particularly in developed nations, and growing demand for lighter materials in the automotive industry.
Automotive Composites Market to Benefit from Growing Trend of Lightweight and Energy-Efficient Vehicles
OEMs in the automobile sector are concentrating more and more on the strict requirements put in place by governments regarding carbon emissions. The transportation industry is responsible for about 27% of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States. The U.S. government implemented tough policies that increased the production of lightweight automobiles in order to cut carbon emissions. Utilizing light-weight vehicles increases battery life and fuel economy, cutting the cost of vehicle maintenance. Due to their high quality and low labour and maintenance costs, the use of glass fibre composites and carbon fibre composites has increased. The U.S. government has made it a priority for manufacturers to adhere to an average miles per gallon standard for their vehicles, and as a result, American automakers are putting more emphasis on producing lightweight cars to decrease the weight of the batteries and so improve fuel efficiency.
The strict rules that the U.S. and European governments have set for car manufacturers, such as the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards and the European Emission Standards (EES), are receiving a lot of attention from the automotive sector. The usage of these materials in the automotive sector has been influenced by the strict government regulations, the lightweight property, and the high safety standards associated with composites.
Additionally, numerous public-private partnership initiatives have already been created in EU member states to increase the use of composites in the automobile industry. Examples of such initiatives include the development of innovation clusters for automotive lightweight materials and composites, as well as partnerships with the chemical and automotive sectors to encourage investment through supply chain analyses of the market for vehicle carbon fibre composites.
The growing electric vehicle market will steer the demand for automotive composites.
According to various analysts, electric vehicles would enable greater pricing per kilo of weight saved in vehicle weight reduction techniques. Cars can recover more kinetic energy via brake energy recovery, but they also lose more energy when accelerating in typical driving cycles. In electric automobiles, a lighter car body enables battery reduction while maintaining range. By enabling additional systems such as the brake system and driving the train to be downsized, reducing the weight of the vehicle body and battery system increases the overall vehicle weight reduction. The reduced weight improves performance in ICE vehicles while reducing emissions at the same powertrain power and torque levels. The adoption of electric vehicles is being strongly influenced by the rapid urbanisation and rising standard of living.
A 2022 report by the International Energy Agency revealed that EV sales have increased from 2.1 million in 2019 to 6.6 million in 2021. OEMs are investing heavily in innovative technologies and energy-efficient engines to take advantage of the rising demand for electric vehicles and premium passenger cars. In April 2021, Solvay unveiled Amodel Supreme PPA, a brand-new collection of high-performance polyphthalamide (PPA) compounds created for difficult e-mobility and metal replacement applications. Additionally, even after prolonged exposure to high temperatures, these materials preserve essential electrical characteristics like the comparative tracking index (CTI). Compounds were created to ensure hydrolytic stability in the presence of modern EV cooling fluids. Due to the various benefits that automotive composites offer, the demand for lightweight interior and exterior materials, as well as engine components, has increased. As a result, rising interest in electric vehicles is what is driving the market for automotive composites.
Asia-Pacific to hold a major share due to the growing automotive industry and government policies.
Asia-Pacific is the largest and fastest-growing region due to the presence of the most automobiles, particularly in China, India, and Thailand. In addition, it is anticipated that the major markets for four-wheelers will be in China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Indonesia, which will further fuel the market’s growth. Due to government initiatives in the region, the Asia-Pacific region will continue to lead the worldwide automotive composites market throughout the forecast period. Furthermore, it is projected that increasing the manufacturing of electric vehicles would present profitable market expansion potential. Emerging economies like India, China, and South Korea have the greatest growth potential. Asia-Pacific has experienced significant growth in the automotive composites sector as a result of the region’s expanding adoption of emission-free vehicles.
According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), passenger car sales in India reached 2.3 million units in FY-21. This trend is anticipated to continue in the next ten years. Top manufacturers around the world are also looking to the Asian market to increase their earnings. India’s automotive composites sales are increasing as some of the biggest automakers in the world build factories there to fulfill growing demand. For instance, in January 2021, Tesla established Tesla India Motors and Energy Private Limited and erected a research and development facility there. These factors are expected to boost the demand for automotive composites in the region.
Challenges in the recyclability of composites will hinder the market’s growth
Numerous automotive applications use composite materials to help achieve goals including light vehicle weight, low battery weight, fuel efficiency, low CO2 emissions, and high accident safety. Composites, however, are challenging to recycle. The recyclability of composites used in automotive applications is a concern due to complicated material compositions and the cross-linked nature of thermoset resins. In contrast to thermoplastics, which are simple to remould, thermoset resins are more difficult to recycle. The inability to recycle the composites used in automotive applications is a significant barrier for the market for automotive composites.
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