Global EV Battery Plastic Demand-Supply, Production Capacity, Volume and Value Range and Industry Outlook, 2032

Plastics are important part of our day-to-day life. Plastic has made its place in many applications from small plastic articles to big automotive vehicle. Changing consumer preferences, environmental priorities, and sustainable dreams are driving the material research and developments.

The stringent environmental regulations on carbon emission have led to an increase in demand of light weighted electric vehicles. Consumption of thermoplastic and thermoplastic compounds in electric vehicles is at a developing stage. Manufacturers are developing solutions to reduce the weight of interior and exterior parts of electric vehicles to increase the fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions in the environment.

EV Battery Plastic Introduction:

Electric vehicles can be categorised into two technologies, lithium-ion battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. Some of the automotive plastics used in electric vehicles are polypropylene, polyurethane, polyvinyl chloride, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polyamide, polystyrene, polyethylene, polyoxymethylene, polycarbonate, polyethylene terephthalate etc.

Thermoplastics could be used in wide range of applications in EVs. Polytetra fluoroethylene (PTFE) and PEEK are used in lithium-ion battery as battery pack separators for temperature stability. PVDF is used as an electrode binder and coating material in battery separators in EVs. Polycarbonates are used in sensors and LEDs in electric cars. Apart from all the above-mentioned applications, Plastics will be needed in charging stations in connectors and plugs due to their flame retardancy, electrical insulation, hydrolysis resistance properties.

EV Battery Plastic Introduction

EV Battery Plastic Demand-Supply Analysis:

Battery electric vehicles are replacing internal combustion engines which led to reduction of plastic usage in vehicles by almost 30%. This is due to disappearance of some components such as fuel tanks, engine covers, reservoirs, air-intake manifold etc in battery electric vehicles. EV batteries are proven to be new opportunity for automotive plastics. The market of plastics in electric vehicles will be driven by some battery components such as onboard charger, DC converter, inverter in electric vehicles.

The consumption Polypropylene plastic is at a developing phase in EVs. However, there are few developments to mention regarding use of PP compounds in EVs. In 2019, glass fibre reinforced PP compounds (20%, 40% and 50%) have been developed for its application in fuel cell stack, cooling circuit, pumps, valves, compressors, pipes and connectors as a solution to reduce weight of EVs and emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Dongfeng Motors (a Chinese truck manufacturer) and Sabic has announced plans in 2022 about producing lightweight and truck mounted toolbox. Dongfeng will use Sabic’s polypropylene resin (Brand Name: Stamax) reinforced with 20% long glass fibre to reduce the weight of the toolbox by 30% to reach 4 kg, thereby allowing Dongfeng to increase their production efficiency. Stamax exhibits properties like high stiffness, impact strength, better structural performance, and thin walls for easy flow. Apart from application in truck toolbox, Stamax resin can also be used in tailgates, seating, front-end modules, and battery housings for electric vehicles.

PU are used in making seats in EVs due to its excellent manufacturability and it provides better quality interior experience. Growing disposable income and standard of living will drive the demand of comfort in interior aesthetics which will drive the demand of PU in EVs.

EV Battery Plastic Capacity Analysis:

Automotive plastics also have opportunities in noise reduction application in electric vehicles. Currently these noises are addressed manually. This has led to design of Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) products to reduce the excess squeaking noise inside the vehicle. A recent study has found that ABS has the potential to be used as a key material in NVH products as they can be modified to reduce the excess sounds without compromising with essential performance properties. NVH products have witnessed a growing demand from industry manufacturers as they reduce time and expenses.

As per the news released by Plastic Today on March 2023, Teijin Ltd (a Japanese manufacturer of automotive plastic) and Applied Electric Vehicles have come together for development of low speed electric vehicle prototype. This prototype is energy efficient and its windows and doors are made up of Teijin’s strong, light weight, impact resistant polycarbonate resin. PC resin provides protection from infrared rays and helps to maintain the moderate temperature inside the cabin. Along with this, the curved roof of the prototype has been molded with PC. This prototype is a zero-emission solution for autonomous driving system.

EV Battery Plastic Market Overview:

Overall, the development in electric vehicles will increase the demand of automotive plastics in EVs. China is currently the largest market for electric vehicles (EVs) in the world. The Chinese government has provided significant support for the EV industry, including subsidies, tax incentives, and regulations that require automakers to produce and sell a certain percentage of new energy vehicles (NEVs), which include pure electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles.

As a result, China has seen rapid growth in its EV market, with over 1.3 million NEVs sold in 2021, accounting for over 40% of the global market. Many of the major global automotive manufacturers, such as Volkswagen, Ford, and General Motors, have significant operations in China and are investing heavily in the development and production of EVs. Chinese domestic automakers, such as BYD, NIO, and Xpeng, are also gaining market share and expanding their offerings in the EV segment.

In August 2021, the Russian government has announced a program to produce EVs and EV infrastructure in the country. In the first stage from 2021-to 2024, Russia is planning to produce around 25,000 EVs and install more than 9,000 charging stations. In the second stage from 2025-to 2030, the country is planning to increase the share of EVs to 10% in the registration of the new vehicle and install about 80,000 charging stations.