About This Roadmap

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has continually recognized and promoted the potential of advanced polymers and composites to deliver automotive innovation since it first published a roadmap in 2001 outlining a vision for the application of plastics as key solutions for the automotive industry. The 2014 version of this roadmap, Plastics and Polymer Composites: A Technology Roadmap for Automotive Markets, offered an industry-wide strategy to accelerate innovation in advanced plastics and polymer composites through 2030 and to help the automotive industry cost-effectively enhance safety, reduce weight, and improve the performance of vehicle designs.

Since then, the plastics and polymer composites industries, automotive stakeholders, and state and federal governments have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into collaborative research and development (R&D) efforts to implement roadmap priorities and benefit the nation’s energy and economic security. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy and invested $70 million in partnership with industry and researchers to establish the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI)—a national, industry-driven consortium that works to reduce technology implementation risk and develop a robust supply chain to support a growing advanced polymer composites industry.

While much of the 2014 roadmap remains relevant, the radical changes in the automotive landscape since then demand an updated strategy to ensure automakers are equipped with the necessary materials solutions. This 2020 roadmap describes the megatrends shaping the future of automotive design and mobility and provides an industry-led perspective on the research, technology, and workforce development necessary to ensure automakers have access to the advanced polymers and composites needed to transform mobility in the next five years and beyond.

The ACC Plastics Division led this roadmapping effort, guided by the ACC Auto Team under the leadership of Gina Oliver, Senior Director, ACC Plastics Division. Vital contributions were made by the Auto Team members and experts from the polymers and automotive communities; see Contributors for a complete list. Nexight Group provided stakeholder engagement and roadmap development support to ACC and prepared this document.