Driven by a faster-than-expected pace of technology development, carbon-fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs) will be poised to gain widespread adoption for automotive lightweighting by 2025, according to Lux Research.
Already advances underway in fiber, resin and composite part production will lead to a $6 billion market for automotive CFRPs in 2020, more than double Lux's earlier projection. Even this figure is dwarfed by the full potential for CFRPs in automotive if they can become affordable enough for use in mainstream vehicles.
“Current trends strongly indicate significant mainstream automotive adoption of CFRPs in the mid-2020s, and companies throughout the value chain must position themselves to take advantage of the coming shifts. However, long-term megatrends towards urbanization, connectivity and automation suggest that there could be a limited time window beyond that for penetrating the automotive space,” said Anthony Vicari, Lux Research Associate and the lead author of the report titled, “Scaling Up Carbon Fiber: Roadmap to Automotive Adoption.”
“CFRP developers will have to continue the pace of innovation to overcome the high cost that has so far limited the material to less price-sensitive markets like aerospace and sporting goods,” he added.
Lux Research analysts reviewed the technology development in CFRPs, and evaluated its economics to consider its impact on the automotive sector. Among their findings:
Source: Lux Research