As the demand for electric and other environment-friendly vehicles is set to increase, the efficiency and environment-friendly properties of key components is under scrutiny.
Effective lubrication is essential for efficient rotation and water-based lubricants that could be used to significantly improve efficiency on the electric drive train, are currently in development. The main benefits of a water-based lubricant is the substantial reduction in friction losses and better thermal properties, compared to a traditional oil, possibly without compromising the product lifetime of transmission components such as bearings and gears.
To realise a potential industrialisation of water-based lubricants in transmissions, a range of areas, from micro geometries to system level design, need to be understood and developed.
CEVT, the innovation Centre within Geely family, SKF and Luleå University of Technology are collaborating in a new research project that is advancing the position on how water-based lubricants can improve the already high efficiency of electric vehicles.
“Energy efficiency will always be a high focus area in CEVT. It must be. Our customers expect nothing less. This project enables a close collaboration with strategic industry partners as well as with academia. The likelihood that this will be implemented in future industrialization projects is great. It will be a win not only for the partners in the project but for the environment,” says CEVT system engineer Tommy Brandt.
SKF supplies a large part of the world's vehicle manufacturers and continues to develop technology in this area.
“The electric vehicles of the future place new demands on materials and technologies. Through this collaboration we will expand our knowledge of water-based lubricants, giving us great insight into the future needs of sustainable vehicles,” says SKF director product line electric vehicles Gregory Zimmerman.
The name of the new research project is ‘Longer Driving Range by Efficient Transmissions’ and it will focus on enhanced understanding of water-based lubrication of bearings, tribological effects on gears and transmission level requirements for the use of water-based lubricants.