Thermal management fluids for electric vehicles are the new golden prize for some suppliers of lubricant base fluid. Trevor Gauntlett considers some of the entries in the race.
It is a received wisdom that the arrival of electric vehicles will result in a significant downturn in lubricant volumes. Since fully electric vehicles will have no crankcase, passenger car lubricant volumes will start declining soon, as the amount of fluid required to cool and lubricate an electric motor is much smaller than that for an equivalent vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine. There are also concerns that replacing a 10-speed automatic transmission in an ICE vehicle, for example, with a single reduction gear or a 2-speed transmission in an EV will further reduce volumes in each vehicle.