As the automotive industry increasingly focuses on the development of hybrid and fully electric vehicles, consumers too are beginning to stand up and take notice.
It's anticipated that by 2040 there may be as many as 280 million electric vehicles (EV) on the road which bring with it a host of new challenges for manufacturers, mechanics and consumers alike, based on the latest outlook from the International Energy Agency.
While not requiring engine oil in a traditional sense, EV’s do require a range of fluids to operate effectively. As the engineering in electric vehicles evolves it is creating new technical challenges in the rapidly evolving area of transmission fluids, battery coolants and greases
“Many hybrid and electric vehicles need different transmission fluids because electrical components, such as electric motors, are in contact with the lubricant and the transmission oil is operating at higher temperatures,” explains Matthias Donner, Castrol’s Global Driveline Product Development Manager. “In addition, the engines run at a much higher revolution which increases stresses on the oil, the torque on gears and bearings is higher and the oil needs to be compatible with components which conduct electricity.”
As a world-leader in lubricants, and a partner of many of the world’s leading OEM’s, Castrol is at the forefront of developments in the “e-fluid” space. By working closely with vehicle and component manufactures, Castrol is able to identify and solve the emerging engineering problems of EV’s to make these vehicles more efficient and increase their range. Examples include:
"The rapid pace of development with the emergence of hybrid and electric cars means we need to work fast to find solutions. I find it very rewarding to be at the forefront of the engineering technology which is shaping the future of transport."
Matthias Donner, Castrol Global Driveline Product Development Manager
Motorsport has always been part of Castrol’s DNA – something that is still apparent today through partnerships with Renault F1 Team, Kelly Racing, Tickford Racing, and more.
As Castrol looks to the future with their fluids, it is also looking to the future of motorsport with the recent announcement that Castrol will be partnering with Panasonic Jaguar Racing as it embarks on season six of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
"We’re excited to extend our long-term partnership with Jaguar to the Panasonic Jaguar Racing Formula E Team. Putting our e-fluids to the test in the tough Formula E race environment is the ideal way to develop the e-fluids and electric vehicle technology of the future. This will help us deliver what drivers want, to go further on a single charge and enable the longer life of transmission and component parts."
Mandhir Singh, Castrol Chief Executive Officer
Using Castrol’s advanced e-fluids onboard the new Jaguar I-TYPE 4, this partnership builds on a long and successful motorsport partnership. Over the years Jaguar Racing and Castrol have enjoyed extraordinary motorsport success, including victory at the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours and the 24 Hours of Daytona. The addition of Castrol’s e-fluids to the team will allow Jaguar and Castrol to collaborate, learn and win on the track whilst further developing advanced technology and e-fluids for the award-winning Jaguar I-PACE and future roadgoing Jaguar vehicles.
For season six, the Jaguar I-TYPE 4, featuring an all new motor, gearbox, inverter, rear suspension and dampers has seen its overall weight reduced offering improved handling and performance.
The lightest and most efficient powertrain the team has ever produced, the Jaguar I-TYPE 4 has a lower centre of gravity and will allow the team to push towards even more points, podiums and wins in season six.
The new powertrain also features a new vehicle control module - which increases the processing capacity and allows faster rate of software development – this puts Jaguar at the forefront of battery electric vehicle innovation.
Maximum power: 250kW, equivalent to 335bhp
Race Mode (maximum power available): 200Kw, equivalent to 270bhp
Maximum power regeneration: 250kW
Maximum speed: 280km/h (173mph)
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 2.8 seconds
Battery weight: 385kg
Minimum weight (inc. driver): 900kg (battery 385kg)
"To improve our performance on the track, we need the best partners, and we are delighted to welcome Castrol for season six. Their innovative automotive lubricants are already benefiting the team and we can’t wait to start the season together in Saudi Arabia for the Diriyah E-Prix"
James Barclay, Panasonic Jaguar Racing Team Director