Components of electric vehicles which are made of plastic fall under the electric vehicle plastics category. Electric vehicles usually possess metal batteries, the weight of which affects their functioning. Instead of metals, plastics and composite materials can also be used as they help reduce running costs. An electric vehicle requires relatively little servicing and no expensive exhaust systems, starter motors, fuel injection systems, radiators, and other parts. A higher quantity of plastic material is used in these vehicles than in conventional ones, owing to the inclusion of a larger battery pack, the smaller size of the internal combustion engine, and demand for lightweight materials to improve fuel efficiency. Electric vehicle plastics are the raw materials prominently used to manufacture parts and supplies.
Increasing demand for electric vehicles owing to growing environmental awareness supported by innovation, government initiatives, and investments made by OEMs has resulted in a technological revolution in the global automobile industry. The need for electric vehicles propels allied sectors such as plastics, an essential material required in the manufacturing of the former. Manufacturers need lightweight materials to develop electric vehicles, which is the primary driver of the global electric vehicle plastics market. Environmental concerns are expected to increase the requirement for electric vehicles, thereby driving the electric vehicle plastics market over the forecast period. With a shift in consumer need toward automobiles which contribute to fewer greenhouse gas emissions, highly fuel-efficient electric vehicles and their variants are being manufactured by almost all major automakers owing to the improving year-on-year sales of this product, directly influencing the development of the electric vehicle plastics market. Another contributing factor is the decline in the prices of raw materials used in the manufacture of electric vehicles.
In terms of material, electric vehicle plastic is categorized into the following types: PP, PE, ABS, PE, PVC, PA, nylon 6, polycarbonate, PVB, and other engineering resins. Based on vehicle type, the market is classified into the hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery varieties. On the basis of application, the market is segmented into the interior, exterior, lighting & electric wiring, and under the hood divisions. Polyurethanes are a widely used material in electric vehicles, which could be attributed to the advantages they offer, such as high strength, flexibility, resistance to temperature, and radiation. Key applications of polyurethanes include seating, electric wiring, and hard plastic parts. Battery electric vehicles are a rapidly expanding segment in the electric vehicle plastics market, driven by factors such as increasing innovation, environmental concerns, and stringent emission regulations. To promote their growth, governments are introducing various tax and non-tax incentives for owners of these vehicles. This eventually supplements the growth of the plastics employed in them.
The global electric vehicle plastic market has witnessed modest growth in 2015 and is expected to follow the same trend during the forecast period. Asia Pacific dominates the electric vehicle plastic market and has emerged as a hub for electric vehicles in recent years, with China and Japan being the leading players. Governments in APAC are also trying to provide incentives to support the demand for electric vehicles. The electric vehicle plastics market in North America and Western Europe are flourishing at a healthy rate as a result of the increasing adoption of non-polluting vehicles as a means of transportation. The markets in Latin America and Middle East & Africa are likely to experience a sluggish growth rate due to limited demand for and sales of electric vehicles, but this situation could improve in later years when the demand for fossil fuels increases.
Key players operating in the global electric vehicle plastics market include BASF SE, Formosa Plastic Corporation, U.S.A, Evonik Industries, and Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.