The impact of electric vehicles on automotive lubricant demand will remain limited through 2021, according to a new study by The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.-based industry research firm.
Freedonia cited the size of the existing electric vehicle park and the challenges of expanding their presence in markets without significant subsidies, as reasons for their forecast.
“This will change over the long term, though, as electric vehicles become a bigger part of the market,” the company said.
“Electric vehicles are viewed by China and other countries (such as Germany, Japan and Norway) as an effective means of meeting climate change commitments and reducing air pollution. Additionally, electric vehicles are expected to be the basis for new, autonomous driving systems being developed by a number of companies.”
The Freedonia Group is forecasting global automotive lubricant demand to rise by 1.6% per year through 2021. In the Asia-Pacific region, automotive lubricant demand is expected to increase by 3.2% per annum to 11.0 million metric tons by 2021.
The major factors contributing to the world’s fastest regional growth rate are: continued increases in the region’s light vehicle and medium and heavy truck and bus parks; increase in construction activity across the region; acceleration in the agriculture sector due to a regional trend of increasing use of tractors in the farming industry; and, increase in the regional motorcycle park.
“Strong economic growth in developing economies will lead to increased agricultural and mining output, as well as rising construction activity, which in turn will drive strong gains in off-highway automotive lubricants,” the company said.