Shell launches E-Fluids for light-, medium-, heavy-duty electric commercial vehicles

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Freightliner eCascadia
Shell has expanded its line of E-Fluids, designed for electrified vehicles, to include products for light-, medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. A number of Class 8 manufacturers now offer heavy-duty electrified trucks, including the Freightliner e-Cascadia shown here. (Courtesy: Daimler)

LONDON — Shell has added E-Fluids to its specialized fluids portfolio to support both battery-electric (BEV) and fuel-cell-electric (FCEV) powertrains for light-, medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. According to a company statement, the new products build on the company’s May 2019 launch of Shell E-Fluids for passenger vehicles.

OTR Capital
Shell E-Fluids Drivetrains
(Courtesy: Shell)

“Once added to the sealed environments of BEV or FCEV commercial vehicles, the fluids need to perform at optimum levels over the vehicle’s lifetime; this is why first fill is so important for electric vehicles,” said Carlos Maurer, executive vice president, global commercial, for Shell. “We have used Shell gas-to-liquid (GTL) base oil technology for the Shell E-fluids portfolio because its low viscosity properties allow for higher efficiency in the vehicle’s powertrain. Our lubricants research laboratories have focused on delivering cutting-edge fluid solutions to meet the specific electric drivetrain challenges of temperature control, oxidation, copper erosion and thermal conductivity.”

According to Shell, the commercial road transport sector, which delivers goods and provides public transportation, emits 8% of global energy-related CO2. Both BEV and FCEV solutions will have a role to play in reducing CO2 emissions, because the pathways and timelines for road freight decarbonization will vary by geography, sector and duty sector.

The Shell E-Fluids range for commercial vehicles includes of e-transmission fluids, e-greases and battery thermal fluids. To date, commercial vehicle manufacturers have had to predominantly rely on a range of fluids, which have been developed for internal combustion engines vehicles and do not deliver the necessary ultimate performance and efficiency for electric powered vehicles.

Performance Benefits of Shell E-Fluids for Commercial Vehicles

Shell notes that its specialized Shell E-fluids deliver:

  • Outstanding oxidation stability which results in longer lifetime of the lubricant to avoid as much as possible any maintenance downtime or oil changes needed during the lifetime of the vehicle.
    • Even at high temperatures, standard oxidation tests show that the Shell E-Fluid Technology oxidizes 50% less compared to a competitor E-Fluid solution.
  • Up to 8 times lower electrical conductivity when cooling the electric motor under typical operating conditions temperatures, compared to a conventional transmission fluid designed for heavy duty ICE commercial vehicles.
  • More than 3 times less copper erosion compared to a competitor’s specialized E-Mobility driveline fluid, due to the reduction of sulfur content in combination with its optimized additive system.
  • Up to 9% higher thermal conductivity compared to a competitor’s specialized E-Mobility driveline fluid, enabling higher cooling capabilities for end windings of electric motors and gearbox lubrication.

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