With the electrification of the automotive industry becoming more and more widespread, petroleum companies are having to adapt their businesses to the new normal. Petronas Lubricants International (PLI) has launched the next generation of its iona electric vehicle fluids to cater to manufacturers of zero-emissions vehicles, promising improvements in efficiency.

The iona range was first launched in 2019, and the new second-generation lubricants and coolants have been designed to meet the multiple requirements of electric motors and axles, including friction and wear control as well as thermal management. The improved properties of these fluids are meant to maximise the performance, energy efficiency and reliability of high-performance EVs.

“We believe that e-mobility is expanding at a rapid pace. With this rapid growth, innovative solutions are key to accelerate the move towards e-mobility for a more sustainable future,” said PLI managing director and group CEO Giuseppe D’Arrigo.

The company has been working with several partners – including Imperial College London, vehicle development services provider FEV Group, automotive engineering company IAV and additive companies – to develop safe, high-performing and dependable fluids specifically for electric powertrains. This collaborative approach has spawned the latest range of EV fluids, designed for OEM first-fill applications.

The creation of fluids specifically for EVs is part of PLI’s commitment towards sustainability, announced in 2018. In it, the company promised to direct 75% of its research and technology investments at reducing emissions to support its larger goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This comes as a greater proportion of new vehicle sales worldwide is shifting towards EVs.

According to the recent Global EV Outlook 2021, PLI said, overall vehicle sales fell in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. But while sales of conventional petrol and diesel vehicles has also dropped, electric car sales actually saw a 70% increase.