Personal mobility can be taken for granted in much of the developed world, but that feeling of exploring a neighborhood or town is a shining symbol of economic freedom spreading quickly through developing countries around the globe.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in Asia, where economic opportunity continues to open (car) doors for millions of families looking to buy their first vehicle. In fact, Asia Pacific will make up close to 40 percent of light-duty vehicle demand in 2040, according to ExxonMobil’s Outlook for Energy.
And while traditional and alternative fuels will power a growing number of vehicles in the future, new chemical products are needed to manufacture the plastics for the dashboard and the rubber for the tires, for example.
To help meet this growing demand for parts and products, ExxonMobil recently started production of halobutyl rubber production facility at its Singapore manufacturing complex, the company’s largest integrated refining and petrochemical complex in the world.
The new 140,000-tonnes-per-year butyl plant will produce premium rubber used by manufacturers for tires that retain air better – which is key to vehicle efficiency. In fact, estimates show that keeping tires properly inflated can help save about a billion gallons of fuel per year.
Better air retention can also increase tire life by 8 percent, which can help all drivers, including first-time drivers, as they travel about 14 trillion miles by 2040.