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Electric Vehicles Drive Performance Polymers

By Scott Jenkins |

Higher-volume production of battery-powered vehicles is driving the development of high-performance polymers with improved properties to meet the needs of electric propulsion The market for battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) has grown rapidly over the past five years. According to a recent analysis by market research firm IDtechEX (Cambridge, U.K.; www.idtechex.com), global sales of BEVs in 2020 were 5.5 times larger than in 2015, and BEV sales remained strong in 2020, despite the pandemic. As sales continue to increase, BEV technology is advancing in parallel, with battery capacity and energy density growing while vehicles become more connected and more autonomous. Expansion of electric vehicles and vehicle-battery manufacturing has driven higher demand for high-performance polymers and polymer composites that exhibit specific properties required for safe and effective operation. The American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.; www.americanchemistry.com) states that hybridization and electrification will increase demands for efficiency, battery longevity, weight and space savings, as well as safety enhancements. Among the key properties for plastics used in BEV applications are high dielectric strength, high strength-to-weight…
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