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F+L Magazine 2020 Q4 - Crystal ball gazing

Crystal ball gazing

The distinctive characteristics of electric vehicle powertrains are changing the performance needs of lubricants and demanding new fluid types with a different balance of properties. In this issue of F+L Magazine, we speak to several base oil and additive producers to understand the role off-the-shelf and brand-new additive chemistries will play in electric vehicle lubricants and fluids. On page 30, we also investigate future developments in the fuel additives market.

Despite being the most carbon-intensive form of transport, under current trends, road transport and private cars will remain dominant. On page 15, we review the implications of automated, connected, low-carbon and shared mobility on the future of road transport. As the recovery from Covid-19 continues to take shape, we also analyse how the politics of the recovery may hinder a transition to e-mobility on page 18. On page 6, we take an in-depth look at the future of transport in developing Asia.

Vicky Villena Denton, F&L Asia Ltd. Editor-in-chief and CEO

A shift to electrification is arguably the number one trend in the automotive industry. Regulations are forcing automakers to find a way to make electrics work, says Michael Dunne, chief executive officer at advisory firm ZoZo Go. On page 28, we discuss with Dunne the top five automotive industry trends.

Reduced levels of operation and output are causing downward pressure on lubricant volumes and distressed financials are leading to suboptimal practices. On page 10, we ask whether we have reached “peak lube” off the back of the Covid-19 pandemic. Headline figures in the latest NLGI Grease Production Survey paint the picture of a resilient grease market. We take a deeper look at grease production volumes, thickener types and base oils on page 26.

On the first of April 2020, India completed a remarkable shift to Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) emission standards, completely bypassing Bharat Stage V on the way. Now that the emission standard has been achieved, against the odds, we turn our attention beyond BS-VI. On page 12, we ask whether India has done enough to improve air quality. Finally, on page 36, we highlight a profitable path to renewable methanol, and how methanol can compete with biomass-derived products as a chemical or as a fuel.

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