US steel players are seeing more opportunities than challenges in the growing electrification of the auto industry, Kallanish hears.
“Electrification actually plays really well for steel. Why? To make vehicles for the masses, they (auto producers) need to hit milestones of range and price,” says a source at one top-tier domestic mill. “We see these vehicle designs spending more money on the range side of the house, making batteries larger, etcetera. So, as that happens, they need to search for the most cost effective solution, which continues to be AHSS (advanced high-strength steel) material rather than alternate materials.”
The greater the range of electric vehicles increases, the greater the need for steel, he summarises.
“More range equals more steel,” he says.
A Midwest flats buyer points out that steel’s technological development is keeping pace with advances in the auto sector – as it has for some time.
“This will not be a problem,” he says. “Every time steel grades needed upgrading, a new generation of steel got developed.”