Accelerating the shift to sustainable and smart mobility

Ceramic Roadmap
TO 2050

Ceramics have been used in all forms of transportation for over a century because they are lightweight, can withstand high temperatures, are capable of insulating thermally and electrically, demonstrate excellent wear and corrosion resistance properties, and are safe as well as reliable.

Why are ceramics used in transport applications?

  • High strength
  • Electromagnetic compatibility Thermal insulation
  • Corrosion resistance
  • High heat resistance
  • Low friction
  • Chemical resistance
  • Wear resistance
  • Low weight
  • Resistance to temperature shock

The shift to decarbonised transport will see an increased role for ceramic materials.

In vehicles with internal combustion engines, ceramics help reduce fuel consumption and pollution. Ceramics are, for example, a key component in catalytic converters and electronic engine management systems. Since the majority of Europe’s vehicle fleet, especially heavy goods vehicles, will still rely on internal combustion engines for some time to come, reducing emissions from these engines is paramount. Ceramics in catalytic converters will also be key to reduce pollution for engines using renewable or e-fuels.

As we move towards increased electrification and the use of hydrogen as a transport fuel, ceramics will be become a key element of decarbonising transport because of their use in electrical systems, for example in thyristor housings.

A vital building block of smart mobility is the increased availability and use of public transport. Ceramics are used in a range of components on buses and trains, such as electrical systems and brakes.

The unique durability of ceramic materials used in the transport sector also ensures the longevity of the components, reducing the wear and the need for replacement parts.

Ceramic hydrogen fuel cells

Ceramic fuel cells are highly efficient devices that convert chemical energy into electrical energy and produce no emissions if powered by hydrogen, providing a clean alternative to fossil fuels. Another advantage of ceramic fuel cells is that they can also use hydrocarbon fuels such as methane, meaning they can act as a bridging technology, which is an important asset in the move away from hydrocarbons towards cleaner energy sources.

Battery technology

Several battery technologies rely on ceramics to deliver performance, endurance and safety.
For example, solid-state batteries are safer because they rely on a solid electrolyte instead of the flammable liquids used in today’s lithium-ion batteries, and could last longer too. Ceramics are also an important component in NiCl-batteries, combining a long lifetime with safety and recyclability.

Policy recommendations

Strategic importance

Acknowledge the strategic importance of technical ceramics.


Promote investments in Europe in this sector. Ensure technical ceramics are fully eligible to sustainable finance as enabling activities.

Research & innovation

Ensure full financial support to research and innovation in this sector.

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