Castrol launches engine oil performance standard for hybrid vehicles
Photo courtesy of Castrol

Castrol launches engine oil performance standard for hybrid vehicles

Castrol has launched a new engine oil performance standard for hybrid vehicles. The demand for hybrid technology is growing. By 2025, it is expected that one in every four cars sold globally will be hybrid. However, there is no specific industry standard specification for hybrid engine oils.

HYSPEC is Castrol’s new technical standard for engine oils for hybrids. It’s not a new product, ingredient, or competitor comparison. It’s Castrol’s own benchmark to measure the performance of its engine oils for hybrids. HYSPEC is derived from rigorous Castrol bespoke tests and 15 industry tests identified as relevant to hybrid operation. Castrol’s new performance standard is a first-of-its-kind in the industry for hybrid vehicles and can support both car workshops and their customers in identifying the right oil for hybrid cars.

Castrol has spent more than 25 years researching, testing, and reporting on the characteristics of hybrids. Castrol has conducted a year-long road trial on mild, full, and plug-in hybrids that captured more than two billion pieces of data. Combined, the cars travelled more than 300,000 kilometres (kms), for more than 7,000 hours – the equivalent to driving 24/7 for more than 42 weeks.

Castrol has worked with vehicle manufacturers to develop hybrid testing techniques – enabling them to constantly refine their products and improve performance.

Hybrids operate differently from conventional cars. The switch between an internal combustion engine (ICE) and electric motor challenges engine oil in three key areas: increased contamination due to cooler engine temperatures, reduced performance and protection due to engine intermittency, and a reduction in system efficiency due to cooler running and lower oil temperatures.

Switching between an electric motor and ICE can cause hybrid engines to run at cooler temperatures, which can lead to water and fuel build-up in the oil. This can disrupt some oils and cause engine deterioration. The switching between two power sources also means hybrid engines can operate at lower speeds, and then ramp up to high engine speeds quickly. Some oils can’t keep up, resulting in reduced engine performance and protection. Cooler running and lower oil temperatures can lead to reduced engine efficiency and in turn, poorer fuel efficiency and charging of the battery. 

HYSPEC enables Castrol to demonstrate how its oils for hybrids perform across these key areas.

Motorsport is the ultimate testing ground for hybrid technology, said Castrol. The UK-based global lubricant marketer which is owned by energy major bp worked with the BWT Alpine Formula 1® Team and Ford M-Sport World Rally Championship team, testing our engine oils under the toughest conditions.

To validate the findings, Castrol commissioned a third-party consultancy and external experts to conduct research with service centres, fleet operators and car owners to deliver a wider perspective on global markets.

Castrol’s portfolio includes many hybrid-ready engine oils. In addition, those badged with the HYSPEC logo demonstrate at least 25% benefit against the HYSPEC standard, across the critical areas of contaminants, engine intermittency and system efficiency.

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