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Udey DhirOver the past few decades, the world has started looking at technologies that can reduce dependence on oil. India is amongst one of the frst movers in the developing countries with a clear road map for introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030. Two-wheelers are set to outpace four-wheelers in India’s ambitious drive towards all-electric mobility, as all top scooter and motorcycle manufacturers have lined up their clean-energy products for launch initiating next year. Hero MotoCorp, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, TVS Motor Company, Mahindra, Yamaha and Bajaj Auto are scheduling launches starting 2018. Hero MotoCorp invested Rs. 205 crore in Ather Energy last year and scheduled to launch India’s frst indigenously designed and developed electric scooter next year.

Electric vehicles (EVs) are already a reality in the international market. 50% of all Dubai taxis will be electric by 2021. According to a recent study, Dubai could see the sale of EVs 42000 by 2030. TESLA plans to begin Model 3 volume production this year. GM plans to produce 500000 EVs by the year end. Also companies like PSA, Volvo, Ford, Jaguar, Nissan, are planning to electrify their models.

In general, about 60% of the total lubricant demand for transportation sector is for engine oils; which are exposed to high temperature in the engine and oxidise or lost in evaporation with combustion products, in exhaust. Electric autos will not have engine or combustion chamber; hence, demand for the engine oil will disappear, that is major chunk of low and medium viscosity oils. Automotive lubricants will be reduced to those for bearings, gearbox, clutches, breaks, hydraulic systems etc. Demand for engine lubricants will continue for marine engines, power generators, special purpose vehicles, mobile pumping machinery etc. Engine oil demand is expected go down by about 90%. Demand for lubrication of large static diesel engines will increase. In large plants, besides condition monitoring and more effcient use of lubricant, waste oil recovery for re-refning and recycle will be better. Waste oil recovery may go well over 70 % from the present 30 %. Demand for high temperature, high load oils will increase because of increase in power generation capacities. This may boost the demand for synthetic and vegetable oil based lubricants.

More electric vehicles on the road will increase the consumption of electricity, which, in turn, increases the consumption of industrial lubricants. An electric car doesn’t have the internal combustion engine, which is the major component that requires lubrication. However, these vehicles will continue to have gearboxes, axles, wheel hubs and other lubricant and grease points, although with slightly different lubrication challenges.

Fortunately, these changes will not be rapid as the existing system is too big involving more than thousand million vehicles, connecting infrastructure, and complexity of transportation system, that affects common man’s life in many ways. It is not possible to dismantle it suddenly.

Thank you for the encouraging response to our last edition’s cover story – “How to manage Hot Bearings in your plant”. Our current cover story on “Extending Equipment Life with Cleaner Oil” will help you discover how an improved oil storage and handling practices saves costs and decrease machine failures. We welcome your suggestions and feedback. With this I want to convey my good wishes for Navratri and Diwali. Signing off for now! Wish you a happy and helpful read. Season’s greetings!

Warm regards,

Udey Dhir

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