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Friday, April 16, 2021

Do Electric Cars Need Engine Oil? Types Of Fluid Required In EVs

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As the popularity of electric cars is increasing, it’s certain that EVs will overshadow IC engine vehicles sooner than we expect. Now, more people are trying to explore electric cars and their components. While doing so, one of the most common questions that strikes the mind is that, ‘do electric cars have engines and what kind of engine oil/fluid does it use’?

Well, one straight answer to this question is no. Electric cars don’t need engine oils simply because there’s no engine in them. Electric vehicles are equipped with electric motors and powerful batteries that generate power and deliver it to the wheels.

To further simplify, electric motors in EVs function as an engine in IC vehicles.

Although electric cars don’t require engine oils, there are other fluids and lubricants that are essential for the well-being of an EV. Let’s explore them.

Electric Car Oils & Lubricants: Types Of Fluids Used

Image: Chicago Tribune

1. Transmission Fluid

All vehicles, irrespective of their powertrain, need transmission fluid for smooth shifting of gears. Transmission systems are made up of mechanical components like multiple gears and shafts etc., that are meshed with each other.

While not a multi-gear one, but electric cars do come with a single-speed transmission. Hence, in order to ensure efficiency and reliability transmission oils are needed.

2. Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is another essential lubricant used in automobiles. It’s a type of hydraulic fluid used for asserting pressure and enhancing the braking force while applying brakes.

Most of the brake fluids used in electric cars are synthetic and DOT certified. One of the most widely used brake fluids is the DOT 3, which is even used in Tesla electric cars.

3. Thermal Fluid

Thermal Fluids are engineered to maintain the optimal temperature of the battery and other electrical equipment. Electric vehicle cooling system is one of the most crucial aspects of any EV.

The batteries of electric cars often get heated, hence, thermal fluids are used that run through pipelines and help in maintaining temperature.

The working and purpose of the thermal fluid are similar to that of coolants in IC engine vehicles.

4. Steering Fluid

Steering oil is used in hydraulic power steerings. However, nowadays most automakers incorporate electronic power steering (EPS) instead of hydraulic ones and these EPS don’t require any fluid to operate.

Still, those vehicles equipped with a hydraulic system require specific lubricants.

5. Grease

Grease is one of the most important lubricants in the mechanical industry. It has numerous applications even in EVs.

Greases reduce friction, wear and tear and help in increasing the life span of any machine.

In electric cars, Grease can be used in electric motor components, suspension system, wheel bearings, door locks, and many other parts.

Final Thoughts

So, these are some of the most common lubricants that you will find in an electric car. Although we named a few fluids above, there are still other lubricants like fluids in dampers, etc. that are used in EVs.

Anyway, what do you guys think? Share your views in the comments section below.

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