Catalytic converters have precious metals located inside of them that work to keep our air safe from the toxins produced from the exhaust gases of our gasoline-powered vehicles. With the rise of electric vehicles, many assume that catalytic converters are going away. Are we approaching the end of the catalytic converter era as we know it? PGM Recovery Systems, Inc., a US-based, automotive precious metals experts, provides their view on this matter.
The Catalytic Converter Market
The catalytic converter market was worth USD 42.4 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8.10 percent to USD 73.1 billion by 2025. During the forecast period, the catalytic converter market is expected to be led by the United States, Europe, and Asia. Rising passenger car demand and tighter emission standards, particularly in Europe and North America, will boost catalytic converter demand even more.
The catalytic converter market is not solely just the 3-way catalytic converters found in standard gasoline passenger vehicles. There are multiple types of converters that are used for other types of vehicles as well such as Four-way catalytic converter (FWCC) and Diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and Lean NOx trap (LNT).
Catalytic Converter Production
When considering the future of catalytic converters, this is crucial to keep in mind. With the increased production of electric vehicles, many people wonder if catalytic converters will become obsolete. Catalytic converter production, for the time being, appears to be unstoppable. Currently on the road, millions of gasoline-powered vehicles, as well as industrial vehicles used for shipping and other heavy-duty utilities, have a long life ahead of them. Replacing these vital vehicles is incredibly expensive, and for most businesses that rely on gasoline-powered vehicles, spending tens of thousands of dollars more for an electric vehicle is not a viable option.
Electric Vehicles Are Not for Everyone
Electric vehicle range and charging station availability are also major concerns for the average consumer, in addition to price disparities. The limited range and lack of charging stations make electric vehicles far less appealing. The transition to electric vehicles will be slow if consumers are unable to accept and embrace them. They would have to rely on gasoline-powered vehicles in densely populated cities where most residents live in apartments and would not have access to a charging station, or in cold regions where freezing temperatures can last for weeks or months.
The public may not be interested in switching to electric vehicles until manufacturers can significantly increase vehicle range, lower charging times, and charging station availability, regardless of government tax breaks.
Catalytic converters are here to stay for many years to come. With governments mandating stricter emissions standards, producing cleaner-burning gasoline vehicles or a greater amount of hybrids is the apparent efficient solution. Catalytic converters seem to have a long path in both of these circumstances.
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