API initiates development of fluid specifications for NEVs in 2024

API initiates development of fluid specifications for NEVs in 2024

As the automotive industry evolves, new energy vehicles (NEVs) such as mild hybrids, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), fuel cell vehicles, and hydrogen fuel internal combustion engines are becoming increasingly prevalent. With the rise in NEV adoption, the need for standardized fluid specifications to ensure these vehicles operate at peak performance has become evident. Until now, the industry has lacked uniform standards for NEV lubrication, a gap that the American Petroleum Institute (API) is set to address.

During the F+L Week 2024 conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on March 7-8, Dennis Bachelder, a senior engineer at API’s Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System, announced API’s plans to develop standardized specifications for NEV fluids. This initiative marks a significant step towards harmonizing the requirements for fluids critical to the operation of NEVs.

API’s approach to creating NEV fluid specifications will involve collaboration with key stakeholders, including standard-setting bodies such as ASTM, SAE, ACEA, JASO, and representatives from China, as well as automotive OEMs. To facilitate this, API is forming new working groups focused on developing specifications for hybrid and hydrogen gas engine oils, driveline and differential oils, and coolants.

A dedicated task force will be established to concentrate on setting minimum performance standards and recommending drain intervals that align with OEM requirements. Given the potential for NEVs to necessitate extended drain intervals, the task force will also investigate ways to leverage technological advancements to improve fluid performance and compatibility with OEM designs.

API is currently seeking members for this task force, inviting participation from OEMs, oil industry professionals, and tier-one suppliers specializing in transmission, gear, and coolant production. This collaborative effort aims to create comprehensive performance standards for coolants, drivetrain, and gear lubricants that are fully compatible with NEV technologies.

Established in 1919, the API is a leading trade association for the oil and natural gas industry, playing a pivotal role in setting standards for automotive lubrication and fluid specifications. Through its Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System (EOLCS), API defines performance specifications for engine oils used in a variety of engines, ensuring they meet critical requirements for engine protection, fuel efficiency, and emissions control. API-certified products are identified by the API Service Symbol “Donut” and Certification Mark “Starburst,” guiding consumers to high-quality engine oils that meet stringent performance standards.