What are the Upcoming Trends in the Automotive Fuel Tank Market?


The Automotive Fuel Tank Market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period, to reach USD 21.3 billion by 2026.

The rise in the production of passenger and commercial vehicles, increasing emission norms and regulations pertaining to lightweight vehicles, and government initiatives pertaining to alternate fuel vehicles like hydrogen and CNG vehicles have led to an increased demand for lightweight automotive fuel tanks.

Some of the key players operating in the market are Plastic Omnium (France), Textron – Kautex (Germany), YAPP (China), TI Fluid Systems (UK), Yachiyo (Japan), Unipres (Japan), Fuel Total Systems (Japan), Magna International (Canada), and SMA Serbatoi S.p.A. (Italy).

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Multilayered fuel tanks have become an area of interest for manufacturers, as they are seeking cost-effective ways to reduce emissions and meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations. Growing regulations and stringent environment protection norms are focusing on reducing the amount of vaporization of fuel from fuel tanks. Also, the use of plastics is regulated to a great extent in many countries due to issues related to the decomposing of plastics. Many OEMs are adopting the addition of a secondary layer to a multilayer tank to comply with the international emission standards. Also, OEMs are investing in R&D of multilayer tanks with an Ethylene-Vinyl Alcohol (EVOH) layer to meet the regulations. The application of the EVOH layer makes the fuel tank resistant to chemicals and any degrading materials. Kuraray, a Japanese chemical manufacturer, uses the combination of HDPE for its mechanical properties and the chemical properties of the EVOH layer for fuel tanks to reduce hydrocarbon emissions. These multilayer tanks with EVOH layers are expected to gain traction in the fuel tank market for controlling the vaporization of fuels.

The hydrogen vehicle segment of the automotive fuel tank market, by propulsion, is estimated to be the fastest market in 2021. The segment is expected to grow at a significant rate due to government initiatives and plans to convert public and private transportation into zero-emission vehicles. As emission norms get stringent, OEMs are focusing on different types of alternative fuel vehicles to meet the required fuel efficiency. Various car manufacturers are now considering hydrogen vehicles as these vehicles are considered “zero-emission vehicles” (ZEV). For instance, European countries such as Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands are aiming to convert all the public bus fleet into zero-emission vehicles, which will create a huge potential market for hydrogen fuel tanks. Moreover, fuel cell manufacturing companies and OEMs are collaborating to develop the required infrastructure for hydrogen buses. For instance, in France, Van Hool (Belgium) and ITM Power (UK) have collaborated to supply buses that require hydrogen as the driving fuel and the required infrastructure. This will boost the market for hydrogen tanks in Europe.

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Asia Oceania is expected to be the largest automotive fuel tank market. In Asia Oceania, Japan, China, and South Korea play a key role in the development of hydrogen stations. The Chinese government has invested heavily in clean and renewable energy in recent years as part of the ambitious CO2 emission reduction goal of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. The Chinese plastic fuel tank market consists of a global company like Yapp. Yapp occupies approximately 30% share of the global automotive plastic fuel tank market. With stringent government norms and continuous developments by Chinese companies, the Chinese fuel tank market is expected to grow in the future. On the other hand, Energy Automotive Systems SA, a French plastic fuel tank manufacturing company, is preparing to establish its presence in the fuel tank market in Japan with its advanced technologies and global activities. Japan is also home to leading fuel tank suppliers such as Sakamoto, Unipres, and Yachiyo.

Thus, the implementation of stringent emission standards, lightweight vehicle trends, and developments in fuel tank materials is expected to boost the fuel tank market in the coming years. However, with the advent of alternate fuel vehicles/electric vehicles, the fuel tank market might get impacted.

Recent Developments:

  1. In April 2021, With a new generation of fuel tank systems, to identify areas where Kautex and the customers need to focus on when bringing a software-controlled system to the market, the company has undertaken Rhapsody software vehicle testing. Refueling tests were done with this software-controlled system both, in the lab and at fuel stations in the Bonn area.
  2. In May 2021, TI Fluid Systems launched the Integrated Thermal Manifold assembly (ITMa). It provides a one-piece, lightweight, blow-molded plastic manifold to optimize complex line design and replace multiple line bundle assemblies of thermal loops. This is needed for heating and cooling of next generation electric vehicles.
  3. In October 2020, Plastic Omnium (40% stake) and ElringKlinger (60% stake) agreed to use hydrogen-based fuel cell technology to create EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies, a joint venture dedicated to fuel cell stack development, production, and commercialization. It showcased a broad product portfolio to hydrogen systems integrators.
  4. In April 2019, Yachiyo enhanced its position with local automakers at its subsidiary in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, China. The company expanded its development and sales strength in the Chinese market by increasing the number of employees in the fiscal year ending in March 2020.
  5. In July 2019, Unipres Corporation established a subsidiary company in Wuhan, China. As China’s automotive market is expected to grow further, the company decided to establish the subsidiary to expand its business with carmakers located in Wuhan, including the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. The new company will be Unipres Wuhan Corporation, capitalized at USD 22 million.

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