Editorial: Electric vehicles provide opportunities for automotive textile manufacturers
Suppliers of technical textiles and related materials to the global automotive industry can expect major disruption in the coming years as the rise of hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous or self-drive vehicles points to the end of vehicles powered by the internal combustion engine. For companies which supply textiles to the automotive industry, one consequence will be an increase in the importance of the aesthetics of a vehicle's interior as software starts to take over many of the functions previously performed by the driver. There will also be strong growth in demand for nonwoven components which are employed as separators in batteries and fuel cells for electric vehicles, and for materials which reduce noises and maintain thermal comfort. On the downside, there will be a significant fall in the use of many of the advanced hybrid filter media materials which have been developed specifically in recent years to deal with engine emissions and eventually the need for such materials will be eliminated. In this report, Robin Anson provides insight into potential developments in the market for automotive textiles and discusses the possibilities which could arise if the Silicon Valley vision of self-driving fleets comes to fruition.