Oiling the wheels: More EVs imply higher demand for e-fluids | The Financial Express

Oiling the wheels: More EVs imply higher demand for e-fluids

Instead of conventional lubricants, EVs need a different set of fluids called e-fluids

Oiling the wheels: More EVs imply higher demand for e-fluids
As per the MRFR study (called the ‘E-Fluids Market Outlook’), it is estimated that, by 2027, over 50 million litres of e-thermal fluids, e-transmission fluids and e-greases will be consumed across highest EV sales geographies such as Europe, China, Japan and the US.

Electric mobility has opened new avenues for a range of linked industries such as polymers, technology and fluids. While it’s true that because electric vehicles (EVs) have fewer mechanical moving parts than conventional vehicles, the need for lubricants is relatively lesser, EVs need a different set of fluids called e-fluids (specifically developed fluids to serve different application areas within EVs such as transmission fluid, thermal fluid and grease, among others).

As per recent estimates by MRFR—Market Research Future, a global market research company—the global market for e-fluids for EVs accounted for $1.2 billion in 2019 and is expected to surpass $7.2 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 22% from 2022 to 2030.

In some countries, EV registrations in 2021 witnessed an increase of 160% over 2020. This shift in demand has alerted both lubricant and additive manufacturers to align with future implications and invest in e-fluids. Giants such as Royal Dutch Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, Petronas and many others are extending their portfolio towards e-fluids. In October 2021, Gulf Oil also introduced its range of e-fluids for both hybrid cars and EVs.

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As per the MRFR study (called the ‘E-Fluids Market Outlook’), it is estimated that, by 2027, over 50 million litres of e-thermal fluids, e-transmission fluids and e-greases will be consumed across highest EV sales geographies such as Europe, China, Japan and the US.

MRFR also noted that the technology within EVs and hybrid vehicles is evolving at a rapid pace.

“With continuous investments and developments, new configurations will result in demand for improved and critical fluids as well as lubricants,” the study noted. “Based on interactions with product development and R&D teams, a major focus area for e-fluid manufacturers has to be aligning with appropriate thermal management, corrosion prevention, electrical attributes, lower viscosities, and compatibility with new materials.”

Widening application scope into integrated powertrain units, usage as coolants and lubricants, and initiatives towards ramping up the driving range of EVs will further augment demand in the coming years. Companies are looking to diversify their product portfolio by adding e-fluids anticipating the trend of increasing EV sales along with covering up the losses of declining passenger car motor oil market. Products with low-viscosity grades and high-quality base oils will gain traction. New product development is expected to address challenges such as electrical conductivity, material compatibility, heat transfer and durability associated with EVs as well as hybrid vehicles.

The study added that the next 7-10 years are expected to bring a strong transition in lubricants with e-fluids at the centre of it. Continued focus on R&D and innovation in the EV sector will drive demand for improved products to cater to intricate thermal management needs. Key industry participants will also have to plan capacity and capabilities to meet increased demand and monitor EV and hybrid vehicle fleet development.

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