EV-related opportunities for plastics manufacturers are not limited to vehicles alone
Growing sustainability expectations and the rapid advancement of electrification are transforming how vehicles are powered. As government incentives and consumer preferences increasingly prioritize electricity over gas, the automotive industry is shifting gears to stay ahead of how electric vehicle (EV) production will impact the market.
“Electrification is irrevocably changing the automotive industry,” said Matt Zessin, Global Director, Automotive at M. Holland. “EVs are slowly gaining popularity as barriers to production ease. We’re not seeing the full push yet, but it’s time for OEMs to prepare for the eventuality.”
But EV-related opportunities for plastics manufacturers are not limited to vehicles alone. While consumer automotives will be the most direct method to gaining market share, the plastics industry will also play a vital role in supporting corporate fleet electrification and the development of charging infrastructure to help maintain momentum.
In the first quarter of 2023, the total number of EV registrations in the U.S. rose 63% compared with the same period in 2022. This popularity is driven by political action as much as consumer demand, but the U.S. is seeing slower adoption rates compared with the rest of the world. California is the exception, where EVs have grown from 2% of new-car sales to 22% in the last five years.
The U.S. government is working to encourage adoption, aiming for half of all new cars sold to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030. Legislation such as the Inflation Reduction Act has created a framework for reaching that goal. Seventeen states have already taken steps to adopt, or are considering enacting, a standard that mirrors the national target, which would require 100% of cars sold to be zero-emission vehicles by 2035. But consumer demand is not reflecting these legislative priorities yet.
“While EVs are not a trend that will fade with time, U.S. consumers aren’t fully sold as of yet,” Matt confirmed. “Vehicle lineups themselves are one barrier for adoption. The major automotive players are making big investments and launching full EV lineups to appeal to consumer, but designs and capabilities aren’t overcoming the appeal of gas-powered cars. That’s why EV innovation is an important focus in the automotive industry. As new options release in the market and charging infrastructure is more reliably accessible, plastics have a chance to make a huge mark in the EV market.”
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