The amount of steel used in cars is expected to decline sharply over the next two decades, according to the latest report released by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR). The shift to light vehicles will increase the replacement of steel with lightweight alternatives, including aluminum and plastic.
The report says that total steel use in automobiles could drop from 65% of total curb weight in 2020 to nearly 46% in 2040. The most vulnerable steel category will be low carbon steel and high strength steel, which use is projected to decline from 40% of total curb weight to 9% over the next two decades. In addition, a 5% reduction in steel use is projected from 2020 to 2025.
Recent data released by the American Institute of Iron and Steel (AISI) shows that US steel mills shipped 16.8 million short tons of steel to the country’s auto sector for the production of cars and car parts during the previous year. According to the CARs forecasts, by 2040, these supplies may fall to 11.89 million short tons.
The immediate beneficiaries of the reduction in steel use will be aluminum and plastics. By the way, by 2040 the proportion of graduates will almost double and will amount to 26% of the total equipped weight. Likewise, the share of plastics by that time will reach 15%.