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  • Published In : Feb 2024
  • Code : CMI6656
  • Pages :145
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Bulk Chemicals

Global electric vehicle plastics market is expected to reach US$ 22.49 Billion by 2031, from US$ 4.09 Billion in 2024, at a CAGR of 27.6% during the forecast period. Electric vehicles (EVs) rely heavily on plastics for various parts due to their light weight and potential cost savings as compared to other materials. Plastics play an important role in an EV's body, chassis, interior, powertrain, and electrical systems. For the body, thermoplastics such as polypropylene (PP), polyamide (PA), and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) are commonly used due to their strength and impact resistance properties. PP is often utilized for energy-absorbing bumpers while PA finds application in durable running boards, pivoting door hinges, and other structural components.

Thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) provide insulation and wire management in the vehicle's electrical architecture. Engineering thermoplastics like polycarbonate (PC) and poly phenylsulfone (PPSU) are applied as high-temperature resistant materials surrounding electric motors and other powertrain elements. Within the interior, plastics take the form of durable polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and scratch-resistant PP trim, as well as reinforced nylons forming seat frames and upholstery. Elastomers like thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) are engineered for vibration dampening properties and flexible tubing.

Regional Insights:

  • North America- North America is poised to grow with a significant 18.2% CAGR over the forecast period. The region is home to some of the largest automakers in the world with a strong presence in electric vehicles. Automakers in the U.S. like Tesla, GM and Ford have led the development of EVs over the past decade and have also established local supply chains for EV components.  
  • Europe- It is expected to account for a substantial proportion of the market share of 15.7% in 2024. Chemical companies in Europe are manufacturing plastics for EVs on a large scale. Tax exemption, subsidies, and supportive policies are boosting regional market growth.
  • Asia Pacific- Asia Pacific has emerged as the dominant regional market for Electric Vehicle plastics globally, garnering a market share of 55.2% in 2024. China in particular is aggressively pushing the adoption of electric vehicles through supportive policies. Several Chinese automakers like BYD and Nio have emerged as formidable competitors in the market. This has created robust demand for EV components within the country and Asia as a whole.

Figure 1. Global Electric Vehicle Plastics Market Share (%), By Region, 2024


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Analyst Viewpoint:

Global electric vehicle plastics market is poised to grow significantly in the near future. Major drivers for the growth include stringent emission norms worldwide which is pushing automakers to launch more electric vehicle models. Plastics play a vital role in electric vehicles as these reduce weight and increase efficiency. Regulations requiring weight reduction will further boost plastic consumption in this segment.

Asia Pacific, mainly China, is projected to continue dominating the electric vehicle plastics market supported by the region's leadership in EV production and sales. China has aggressively promoted EVs and set targets to phase out combustion engine vehicles. Most automakers are setting up or expanding EV manufacturing bases in China to gain access to the massive and fast growing Chinese EV market.

Opportunities exist for plastic material and component suppliers to cooperate closely with EV manufacturers to develop new, customized plastic formulations tailored for specific applications and performance requirements. Light weighting will remain a dominant theme, boosting demand for advanced plastics like polycarbonate, ABS and nylon.

Global Electric Vehicle Plastics Market- Drivers

  • Rising Demand for Lighter Vehicles: As electric vehicles become more mainstream, automakers are under increasing pressure to improve vehicle range and efficiency. Heavier a vehicle is, the more energy it requires to move and the shorter its potential range becomes on a single charge. This has driven automakers to search for ways to lighten electric vehicle designs without compromising safety or performance. Plastics are increasingly viewed as a solution due to their lightweight properties compared to materials such as steel and aluminum. Advanced plastics can be engineered to be just as durable as metals while shaving valuable pounds off a vehicle's overall weight. The lighter the vehicle, the further it can travel on the same battery capacity. Automakers are actively developing new plastic composites and parts to replace heavier materials, especially in non-structural areas like interior trim panels, front-end modules, and cargo storage areas. As electric vehicles continue gaining broader consumer acceptance, reducing weight will remain a high priority for extending vehicle range. This focus on lightweight designs is expected to boost demand for advanced plastics across future electric vehicle platforms. For instance, according to the International Energy Agency's Global EV Outlook 2020 report, EVs will need to become lighter by approximately 190 pounds on average by 2030 in order to meet their projected sales targets and emission reduction goals.
  • Improving Battery Performance and Longevity: In addition to weight savings, automakers are interested in plastics for their potential to improve electric vehicle battery pack performance and lifespan. Batteries generate significant heat during operation which can negatively impact efficiency and capacity over time if not properly managed. Plastics can play an important cooling role through custom battery enclosures designed to efficiently dissipate heat. Advanced thermoplastics are also being evaluated as a material for battery cell casings and interconnecting bus bars due to their heat resistance and insulating properties. This control battery temperature fluctuations that cause premature degradation. Using engineered plastics to thermally manage battery systems could allow for smaller, lower-cost packs without compromising driving range or battery health. Plastics are also more resistant to corrosion than other materials commonly used near batteries. Their insulating qualities protect sensitive components from environmental exposure. As automakers optimize electric vehicles for maximum battery life and performance, greater use of plastics in battery cooling and encapsulation is envisioned. For instances,  according to the International Energy Agency's Global EV Outlook 2022 report, electric car stock exceeded 16 million vehicles in 2021, representing 10% annual growth compared to 2020, with nearly 70% of all EVs on Chinese roads.

Global Electric Vehicle Plastics Market- Opportunities

  • Development of lightweight and reinforced plastics: The development of lightweight and reinforced plastics presents a significant opportunity for growth of electric vehicle plastics market. Plastics that are light yet durable can increase the driving range of EVs by reducing overall vehicle weight. Lighter vehicles result in lower energy consumption, allowing battery packs to last longer between charges. With range anxiety still a top concern amongst many consumers, increased driving distance per charge through lightweight plastics has the potential to accelerate EV adoption rates. For instance, a study conducted by the European Commission Joint Research Centre in 2021 found that fiber-reinforced plastics reduced the weight of an EV's body structure by 20-30% compared to a conventional steel body, without compromising crashworthiness.
  • Growing demand for electric vehicles in emerging economies: The growing demand for electric vehicles in emerging economies can unlock significant opportunities for the electric vehicle plastics market. Countries like India, Brazil, Indonesia and others are increasingly focusing on promoting electric mobility to reduce emissions. With rising incomes and awareness, car ownership is growing rapidly in these markets which are traditionally overlooked by global automakers. As environmental regulations tighten and consumers get more environment conscious, electric vehicles are expected to make deeper inroads here over the next 5-10 years. This surge in electric vehicle adoption in emerging economies will boost demand for plastics used in manufacturing various EV components. Electric vehicles use more plastics than conventional vehicles since plastics help to reduce vehicle weight and boost efficiency. Plastic parts are widely utilized in EV batteries, electronic components, interiors, exteriors and under-the-hood systems. For example, a typical electric vehicle contains around 110 kg of plastics mostly used in the battery casing and cooling system. The plastic casing protects and insulates the heavy battery from extreme temperatures and physical damage For instance, according to International Energy Agency's Global EV Outlook, in 2021, the average lithium-ion battery pack currently weighs around 400-500 kg and plastics play a vital role is safe housing of these heavy-duty batteries.

Global Electric Vehicle Plastics Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 4.09 Bn
Historical Data for: 2019 to 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 – 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 27.6% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 22.49 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East:  GCC Countries, Israel,  and Rest of Middle East
  • Africa:  South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa 
Segments covered:
  • By Resin: Polypropylene (PP), Polyamide (PA), Polycarbonate (PC), Polyethylene (PE), Polyurethane (PU), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB), Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT), Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)a, Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), Others
  • By Application: Interior, Exterior, Powertrain System/Under Bonnet, Lighting & Electric Wiring
  • By Components: Steering & Dashboards, Car Upholstery, Bumper, Door Assembly, Exterior Trim, Interior Trim, Connector and Cables, Battery, Lighting, Electric Wiring, Others
  • By Vehicle Type: Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)/ Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV)
Companies covered:

LANXESS, INEOS Group, Celanese Corp., AGC Chemicals, EMS-Chemie Holding, Mitsubishi Engineering Plastics Corp., BASF SE, SABIC, LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V., Evonik Industries, Covestro AG, Dupont, Sumitomo Chemicals Co. Ltd., LG Chem, Asahi Kasei. 

Growth Drivers:
  • Rising Demand for Lighter Vehicles 
  • Improving Battery Performance and Longevity
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Availability of substitutes 
  • Volatility in raw material prices

Global Electric Vehicle Plastics Market- Trends

  • Use of recycled plastics in electric vehicles: The use of recycled plastics in electric vehicles is having a significant impact on the electric vehicle plastics market. As electric vehicle production ramps up globally to meet climate targets, automakers are under increasing pressure to reduce the carbon footprint and boost sustainability of their manufacturing processes. Using recycled plastics allows automakers to partially offset the emissions from raw material extraction and plastic production. It can also help electric vehicle manufacturers to meet proposed regulations in Europe and other regions that mandate a minimum percentage of recycled content in vehicles. In 2022, Tesla, an U.S.-based automaker, announced that Model Y SUVs produced in Giga factory Texas contain over 350 pounds of recycled plastic packaging and trim. This represents a significant amount of plastic waste being diverted from landfills.
  • Development of bio-based and renewable plastics: The rising trend of using bio-based and renewable plastics in the automotive industry is having a significant impact on the electric vehicle plastics market. As environmental sustainability has become a top priority, electric vehicle manufacturers are under increasing pressure to reduce the carbon footprint of their vehicles over the entire lifecycle. Bio-based plastics derived from plant-based materials like sugarcane, corn, switch grass, and agricultural waste offer an environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional petroleum-based plastics. These have similar physical and mechanical properties as traditional plastics but are more sustainable. Several electric vehicle OEMs have started employing bio-based plastics produced from bio plastics manufacturers in various interior and exterior components to lower the fossil fuel dependence of their EVs. For instance, in 2020, Ford Motor Co. announced that it will use plant-based materials like soy foam and bio plastics for seats, headrests, and door panels in their all-electric F-150 Lightning truck launching in 2022.

Global Electric Vehicle Plastics Market- Restraints

  • Availability of substitutes:  The availability of substitutes is significantly restraining the growth of the electric vehicle plastics market. There are several alternative materials that automakers can utilize instead of plastics to manufacture various components of electric vehicles. Metals provide a strong substitute given their high strength and durability. Automakers are increasingly adopting aluminum alloys and advanced high-strength steels to make structural parts and body panels of electric vehicles. These materials allow manufacturers to reduce vehicle weight and improve performance attributes like power-to-weight ratio. Lighter vehicles result in increased range per charge, making them more appealing to environment-conscious customers.
  • Counterbalance- The development of lighter or more environmentally friendly materials, such as advanced composites or biodegradable polymers, could provide alternatives to traditional plastics used in EVs.
  • Volatility in raw material prices: Volatility in raw material prices such as oil, polyethylene and carbon fiber has emerged as a major challenge for the growth of the electric vehicle plastics market. Plastics and polymers account for a significant portion of materials used in EVs, ranging from 15-30% by weight depending on the vehicle model. Battery packs and electronic components need protective casings made of plastics, while lighter composite materials are gaining prominence for interior and exterior body panels to increase driving range.

Figure 2. Global Electric Vehicle Plastics Market Share (%), By Vehicle Type, 2024


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Recent Development:

  • In June 2022, Sabic launched NORYL. This resin is a substance that works well for insulating film in electric vehicle (EV) battery modules. It helps to increase the protection against the spread of fire and short circuits. SABIC is a global diversified chemicals company headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The company manufactures chemicals, commodity and high-performance plastics, agri-nutrients, and metals on a global scale in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific.
  • In June 2022, BASF SE launched Ultradur, an engineering plastic product that is equipped with highly effective additives that delays hydrolytic degradation. This makes the material resistant to damage by water at elevated temperatures. This material can provide safety for sensitive electronics in extremely challenging conditions. BASF SE is a global chemical company headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The company operates through six segments, including Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care, and Agricultural Solutions. BASF offers a wide range of products for various industries, such as chemicals, automotive, construction, agriculture, electronics, and more.

Major Players in the market:

  • INEOS Group
  • Celanese Corp.
  • AGC Chemicals
  • EMS-Chemie Holding
  • Mitsubishi Engineering Plastics Corp.
  • LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V.
  • Evonik Industries
  • Covestro AG
  • Dupont
  • Sumitomo Chemicals Co. Ltd.
  • LG Chem
  • Asahi Kasei.

Definition: Electric vehicle (EV) plastics refer to the use of advanced plastics and polymer composites in various components of electric and hybrid vehicles. These plastics are utilized in areas such as thermal management, enclosures for EV batteries, under hood components, and other applications to make the vehicles lighter, stronger, and more energy-efficient.

Frequently Asked Questions

Availability of substitutes and volatility in raw material prices are the key factors hampering the growth of the global electric vehicle plastics market.

Rising demand for lighter vehicles and improving battery performance and longevity are the major factors driving the global electric vehicle plastics market. 

The battery electric vehicle (BEV) segment is the leading vehicle type segment in the global electric vehicle plastics market.

The major players operating in the global electric vehicle plastics market are LANXESS, INEOS Group, Celanese Corp., AGC Chemicals, EMS-Chemie Holding, Mitsubishi Engineering Plastics Corp., BASF SE, SABIC, LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V., Evonik Industries, Covestro AG, Dupont, Sumitomo Chemicals Co. Ltd., LG Chem, Asahi Kasei. 

Asia Pacific leads the global electric vehicle plastics market.

The CAGR of the global electric vehicle plastics market is 27.6%.

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