VLS highlights lubricant impact of shift to EVs

By Categories: Commercial NewsPublished On: Thursday 22 April 2021

The Verification of Lubricant Specifications (VLS), the independent lubricant trade body, has outlined potential implications of the shift towards electric vehicles (EVs) on the lubricants sector, as driven by European carbon neutrality goals.

VLS highlights the commitment by Europe’s truck makers to reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, by agreeing that by 2040 all new trucks sold have to be fossil-free, but adds that they cannot do it alone: the right vehicle technology, infrastructure for battery and fuel-cell vehicles and cost parity are all key to making road freight transport CO2 neutral.

Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler Truck AG and chairman of ACEA’s commercial vehicle board, recently commented: “Europe’s truck and bus industry is fully committed to the Paris Agreement. Going forward, let’s all be aware that we need three factors to make CO2-neutral transport a success, and that these factors are interdependent.

“But this interdependence must not lead to a ‘chicken or the egg problem’, where OEMs, energy companies and governments wait for the others to first do their jobs. We must tackle all three factors at once, and we must do so now.”

The impact of such changes on the lubricants sector cannot be underestimated, says VLS.

“Battery electric vehicles operate in a totally different way to internal combustion engines, with very different lubricant requirements,” said Andrew Goddard (pictured), chairman of VLS.

“A whole new generation of multi-function lubricants are being developed. Electric vehicles use a far higher electric current than conventional internal combustion engines and this creates a lot of heat.”

He explained: “The lubricant must help to dissipate heat around the engine and keep it operating at optimum temperature. Oils for electric vehicles also need improved corrosion protection.

“This is because electric vehicles use a lot more copper than conventional vehicles. This copper is susceptible to corrosion if it comes into contact with acidic elements, so the lubricating fluid needs to protect against this.”

Goddard said VLS would be “closely following the progress” of European emissions reduction plans as they continued to unfold, on behalf of its members.

VLS is an independent industry body set up to provide a trusted means of verifying lubricant specifications, with the aim of bringing transparency to the lubricant marketplace and protecting and educating end users.

More infrmation on VLS is available at its website.