Emobility | How will the world of Lubricating Oils change?

Pubblicato il: 02 August 2022


The long road to Emobility

So far we have talked about the four trends that will change the face of mobility in the future. What does an automatic, connected, electric and shared world imply for the market of automotive lubricating oils? Of course it will have to evolve towards more performing fluids and wider coverage, but the change will be more gradual than is implied. In part it is also due to the purchasing habits of the final customer who still has reservations about the use of electric cars for long distances or the development of supply networks. Another barrier to break down is the gap for now between the price of an electric car and not. For a reasonable time we will still live with the endothermic engine and the multiform types of hybrid cars in a perspective that promises to be still medium-long term. It is estimated that the endothermic engine (ICE) market will continue to win the largest market share until at least 2040. Manufacturers are applying different strategies to reach emission targets and the lubricating oil market will have to follow this development closely. 

Challenges and Opportunities for Lubricants
in the Age of Hybrids and Emobility

The near future must take into account the downsizing of ICE engines in hybrid cars, which face different mechanical stresses compared to the standard endothermic engine. For hybrid cars that travel longer distances, the endothermic engine could operate at high speeds or with heavy loads, making wear more likely when the engine is starting. Hybrid cars used as taxis or shared mobility vehicles could experience long periods of operation at high temperatures exposing fluids to a greater risk of thermal-oxidative stress. Factory fill and service fill lubricants will therefore have to offer excellent and constant performance regardless of the driving cycle.

Hybrid car engine oils should offer renewed engine protection while being less viscous and should be more durable. Great importance will be given to the fluids for hybrid car transmissions, which could also be used to cool the electric motor. Oils that will come into direct contact with electrical components must have some key characteristics: 1) low electrical conductivity and 2) be compatible with delicate components such as copper and metal wires. The Emobility will need dedicated transmission oils that allow the optimal performance of the electric drive. Cooling fluids for the electric motor and traction are already a reality, while the direct cooling of batteries is still a market to be discovered. 

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