By Nemin Vora
The Indian automobile industry is the fifth largest among its global competitors and is expected to be in third place by 2030. In the last few decades, this industry has experienced several technological as well as policy changes. Moreover, to stay on par with the global automobile industry, India is making a constant shift towards electric vehicles (EVs). This shift was necessary to tackle rising pollution, curb global climate change, and reduce the burden of oil imports.
As electric vehicles (EVs) penetrate domestic markets, they are also disrupting the well-established ICE (internal combustion engine) value chain. An overlooked element of this change is the fluids, which include the engine oils, gear oils, and other transmission fluids that ICE vehicles have been using. Now, these fluids will not be required for the EVs, as the main fluids used in the new generation of automobiles are driveline fluids and coolants. Let us delve into what these EV fluids are and what functions they perform.
What are EV fluids?
The EVs are operated by the batteries and motor as the prime movers, and hence require a different set of fluids than the ICE vehicles. The conventional fluids are inapplicable for the EVs as they can lead to viscosity-related issues and corrosion of parts while compromising the overall performance and life of the vehicle. The EV fluids have been engineered and modified specifically to meet the requirements of the high-tech powertrains. These fluids are responsible for cooling the powertrain and transmission system while stabilizing the temperature of the battery and power electronics. Moreover, the EV fluid carries out the function of heat transfer, and the E-grease lubricates the EV components while countering the noise, vibration, and harness (NVH) levels in the vehicle.
The other functions of the fluids include a reduction in the losses of energy in the drivetrain while enhancing the transmission system in an EV. In addition, the EV fluids are responsible for providing protection in case of any flaring caused by the close contact of the EV components. Furthermore, they also help in cooling the e-motors and gears, which can extend the overall life of the vehicle components and improve the vehicle’s efficiency.
According to the report by Bonafide Research, the electric vehicle fluid market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 25% in terms of value. For now, the market is divided into four main components: grease, brake fluid, heat transfer fluid, and drive system fluid. As the adoption of the EVs increases, the customers must also get smarter in understanding their vehicles. Now, let us focus on why EV fluids are significant for EV consumers.
EV Fluids: Significant for Consumers
McKinsey anticipates a significant increase in the number of electric vehicles on the road by 2035. The market value of EVs, including BEVs, HEVs, and PHEVs, is expected to grow at a CAGR of about 20% by 2035. This will eventually increase the usage of the EV fluids, regardless of the fact that EVs have less fluid-hungry designs. For consumers who own an EV, they must know these details in order to keep the vehicle maintained from their end.
With the significant knowledge of the EV fluids, consumers can improve the reliability and efficiency of their electric vehicles. Moreover, they will also act as a helping hand in making the automobile ecosystem sustainable and green.
With regular maintenance and fluid changes of the EVs, the performance of the vehicle increases, which is directly proportional to the vehicle’s life. Furthermore, by staying aware of changes in their vehicle, consumers can help to appropriately minimize electrical conductivity, prevent copper corrosion, and improve energy efficiency. They will get a good performance from their EV with increased distance per charge and better vehicle health. Therefore, it is essential for the customers to have a significant knowledge about the EV fluids.
All things considered
Globally, several efforts are being made to ensure EVs swiftly enter the automobile domain. While these changes occur, EV manufacturers know the significance of EV fluids in these thriving markets. Global lubricant companies are investing R&D resources in designing lubricants for electric vehicles to minimize friction loss, improve durability, boost efficiency, and strengthen other performance aspects in order to cater to the requirements of the next-generation EVs.
Even though EV fluids are in their nascent stage and are predominantly used in factory fill applications, they have huge potential to grow in the upcoming years. As the markets grow, the fluids will be available for service fills as well as for market applications. With several innovations to come, the EV fluids are set to deliver what the driver wants, i.e., to go further on a single charge, enable a longer life, keep the components healthy, and ensure high battery performance.
The author is the Chief Executive Officer, Odysse Electric Vehicles.
Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online. Reproducing this content without permission is prohibited).