Next-generation cars are required to have a lot of features like connected cars, smart technology, fuel efficiency, and finally, light weight. During the e-car hype ending 2011, one of the major focus areas was the weight of the car. However, over the succeeding years, car manufacturers have been lessening the focus on integrating a decrease in weight of cars in new products, while there is a consistent demand for integration of decreased weight in new launches. The global and European markets for lightweight cars were worth USD XX billion and USD XX billion in 2014 and are expected to increase to USD XX billion and USD XX billion by 2020, at CAGR of 5.8% and X.X% respectively. Currently, the European market for lightweight vehicles, led by developments and initiatives in the EU, is largely driven by regulatory authorities pushing for fuel efficiency. The EU has devised a roadmap, moving to a competitive low-carbon economy by 2050, and it is expected that other economies will follow suit.
The weight of a car depends on its curb weight, or the mass of a vehicle, including the mass of added components like refrigeration, passengers or cargo, transmission and motor oil, etc. The proliferation of lightweight cars is low for a number of reasons but is estimated to increase as awareness and demand for it increases. In fact, one of the most important drivers of lightweight cars in the market is the demand for it in terms of the ideal automobile, which, according to a report, should include the components of increased efficiency, green fuel, and finally, lightweight materials under the umbrella term “smart-efficiency”.
The ideal materials for lightweight cars in this market include aluminum, high-strength steel, and magnesium. In the luxury segment, carbon fiber cars, like the ones used in BMW, are no longer expensive and are increasingly being used in mass market car production. The most popular material currently is “material-mix”, an innovative mix of materials to enable affordability of lightweight cars. The recent Global Automotive Lightweight Materials Initiative (GALM) has boosted the research and popularity of this material mix. Another method of decreasing the weight of cars is through downsizing engines.
Europe Lightweight Cars Market- Drivers
Europe Lightweight Cars Market- Restraints
Some of the key market players are:
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