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Lube-Tech


Automotive companies strive to increase production and sales of electric vehicles and to shy away from ICE vehicles. Currently, hybrid vehicles are ostensibly rising in popularity due to having both ATF and electric. Through 2040, the global LDV market is projected to have the strongest growth in e-mobility coming from the sales of hybrid vehicles [1]. Hybrid vehicles incorporate both a conventional engine and an electric motor which still requires regular oil changes. In the coming years, hybrid transmission use is predicted to soar, and the usage and production of automatic and dual clutch transmissions will increase significantly [1]. Unlike manual transmission vehicles, automatic transmission vehicles change gears independently using a torque converter which is convenient and practical. However, it is salient to note that the development of EVs are rudimentary and face various barriers barring them from smooth growth [4]. Transportation, especially commercial transportation, is dominantly driven by ICE vehicles using petroleum-based liquid fuels such as gasoline and diesel [4]. Petroleum-based liquid fuels account for approximately 95% of transport energy and are projected to remain high despite the rise of EV and fuel cells [4]. Therefore, ICE vehicles are the most prudent and ensuring option for years to come, which raises the need for fuel economy improvements to reduce GHG emissions.


Gasoline Compression Ignition (GCI) engines and Octane on Demand (OOD) systems are alternatives that may serve as non-electrical approaches for improving efficiency and controlling noxious emissions [4]. Most cars utilise Spark Ignition (SI) engines which work by having an electric spark propagate fire to ignite fuel in a combustion chamber where a fuel and air mixture are compressed [4]. GCI differ by utilising glow plugs which heat up the compression chamber [4]. This process relies more on compression rather than spark plug and fuel contact which achieves higher efficiencies and EPA ratings [4]. OOD engine contains both high and low octane fuel; it operates


PUBLISHED BY LUBE: THE EUROPEAN LUBRICANTS INDUSTRY MAGAZINE


No.128 page 2


mainly with low octane fuel but uses high octane fuel when needed which aids GHG reduction [4]. With the continual improvement of these systems, it appears that automatic transmissions will continue to dominate for years to come.


While ICE vehicles continue to grow, electric vehicles are brought up to prominence through partial electrification in the form of hybridisation [4]. Hybrid cars can be categorised into the following types of systems: mild hybrid, full hybrid, and plug-in hybrid [5]. Mild hybrid incorporates electrical power boosts but excludes the capability of electric-only drive [5]. Full hybrid has a wide range of capabilities and can provide all-hybrid operations but has limited electric motor power and battery storage [5]. Plug-in hybrid is a full hybrid with the capability of recharging the battery which elevates the power and speed when using electric-only mode [5].


Within these types, there are five different architectures: parallel, series, power split, through the road, and complex [5]. Each of these architectures have unique transmissions for operation. For example, power split hybrids solely use an electric variable transmission (EVT) due to their ability to operate in both series and parallel. Parallel hybrids are more versatile in that they can use a vast array of modified conventional transmissions such as Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT), Stepped Automatic (AT), dual clutch (DCT) and manual [5]. Currently, automotive companies are using conventional ATF for EVT transmissions and CVT fluids for parallel hybrid transmissions because the fluid performance requirements of hybrid vehicles vaguely resemble those of ICE vehicles which render the need for dedicated hybrid fluids unnecessary [5]. A salient note of concern is that hybrids, with an integrated electric motor and transmission, will have fluids that come in contact with the electric motor. The electrical properties of the fluid will need to be examined in these cases to gain a better understanding of the


LUBE MAGAZINE NO.157 JUNE 2020 23


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