Technology development will drive economic viability, but the window of opportunity is a small one.
BOSTON — Driven by a faster-than-expected pace of technology development, carbon-fibre reinforced plastics (CFRPs) will be gain widespread adoption for automotive lightweighting by 2025, according to Lux Research.
Already advances underway in fibre, 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,” said Anthony Vicari, Lux Research Associate and the lead author of the report titled, Scaling Up Carbon Fibre: Roadmap to Automotive Adoption.
“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,”
CFRP developers will have to continue the pace of innovation to overcome high costs that have so far limited the material to less price-sensitive markets like aerospace and sporting goods, he added.
The report’s findings include:
Lux Research, based in Boston, provides strategic advice and ongoing intelligence for emerging technologies.