Spotlight on Electric Vehicles
A growing cadre of lubricant manufacturers—small and large—are developing and producing dedicated electric vehicle fluids. It is likely that as the S-curve of EV uptake steepens, the currently small group will grow larger.
Those that are out in front of the trend have the advantage of associating their brands with EVs by launching lubrication products optimized for the new breed of powertrains.
Most of the offerings cover the three main volume applications: e-transmission fluids, fluids for thermal management of the battery and other systems, and a selection of greases to meet a host of needs.
It’s no surprise that some of the world’s biggest players in passenger car motor oils are represented in the list.
Europe is a hotbed of EV fluid development, which isn’t surprising since the uptake of new EV registrations on the continent is heading toward 20% of passenger cars.
The United Kingdom’s legacy lube maker Castrol released its range of EV fluids called On. According to the company’s website, more than half of the world’s major EV automakers use a Castrol e-fluid as part of their factory fill lineups. A Castrol e-fluid is even used on NASA’s InSight Mars lander.
Germany-based Fuchs Petrolub SE threw its hat into the EV lube ring in 2020, introducing its own range of EV fluids called BluEV. Par for the course, the range consists of a transmission fluid, a grease and a thermal management fluid.
Here’s the skinny on a few more notable EV lube producers from around the globe.
|#colspan#||Origin||United Kingdom, Netherlands|
|#colspan#||Products||Battery thermal fluid for motors or inverters; a coolant for batteries, motors or inverters; an automatic transmission fluid; a brake fluid; and a complex synthetic grease for bearings and motors|
|Shell: Shell E-Fluids and E-Greases|
|#colspan#||Launch||May 2019, expanded October 2020|
|#colspan#||Products||Grease, coolant and transmission fluid for passenger cars. The range was later configured to include new products for light- to heavy-duty commercial battery and fuel-cell EVs.|
|Total: Quartz for hybrids and Rubia for industrial, commercial and utility EVs|
|#colspan#||Products||Quartz features EV-AT, EV-AMT, EV-DCT and EV-CVT transmission fluids for automatic hybrids, automated manual hybrids, dual-clutch transmissions and continuously variable transmissions, respectively.|
|GS Caltex: Kixx EV|
|#colspan#||Products||An e-transmission and an e-thermal fluid|
|#colspan#||Launch||March 2019, updated in November 2021|
|#colspan#||Products||Battery thermal management fluid, e-transmission fluids and bearing greases|
|S-Oil: Seven EV|
|#colspan#||Launch||to be confirmed|
|#colspan#||Products||S-Oil’s product slate is yet to be confirmed but will likely include oil for hybrids as well as EV fluids.|
|Valvoline: Performance Fluids and XEV|
|#colspan#||Launch||September 2019 in the U.S. and October 2021 in China|
|#colspan#||Products||A heat transfer fluid for battery applications, fuel-cells and charging applications; a transmission fluid; a brake fluid; and a grease for e-motors and seal bearings|
|ExxonMobil: Mobil EV|
|#colspan#||Products||The Mobil EV suite includes EV battery thermal management fluids, integrated e-motor fluids, reduction gearbox lubricants and specialty greases.|
|Phillips 66: e-Shield|
|#colspan#||Products||System fluid, grease and coolant|