Valvoline Intelligent Fluid Technology for Hybrid Vehicles

The electric and hybrid electric vehicle market is predicted to grow globally in the coming years as global automakers and governments look to tackle fuel emissions, and consumers look for more efficient solutions that reduce their overall environmental impact. By 2025, J.P. Morgan predicts that electric and hybrid electric vehicles will account for an estimated 30 % of all vehicle sales.

Hybrid vehicles using both conventional fuels and electricity are also increasingly popular on the German market – in 2020 it was more than 18% of the total number of new vehicles sold. From a lubricant point of view, however, the hybrid drive results in new challenges, which are often not found in classic cars, and that can impair the protection of vehicle components.

A hybrid vehicle consists of a classic internal combustion engine combined with an electric motor/generator. The control unit decides which drive is used in the vehicle’s movement at a certain point in time. In hybrid vehicles, the conventional engine is not operating continuously, it is been switched off and restarted frequently. It is perceived that the stop-start cycles in hybrid engines are at least 500.000, compared to 50.000 cycles for a conventional drive. As a result, the engine oil is used for too long at operating temperatures that are too low and exposed to very high loads. Underheated engine oil contains large amounts of water (formed by condensation) and fuel, which lowers the protective parameters of the oil and increases the generation of deposits inside the engine, which all drastically lowers the degree of engine protection against wear.

Valvoline’s answer to the harsh operating conditions in hybrid cars is the new line of Valvoline Hybrid intelligent fluids with specially engineered additives that ensure optimal lubrication and protection when the engine is switched on and off frequently. In addition, they maintain the long-term performance and efficiency of the vehicle. This has been proven in laboratory tests in the context of oxidation performance, wear protection and corrosion protection. As a result, the Valvoline Hybrid series performed 35% better than conventional oils in terms of the properties mentioned and was able to prove its advantage for hybrid cars.

The Valvoline Hybrid range includes three engine oils with viscosities from 0W-20 to 5W-30 and two driveline fluids – Valvoline Hybrid ATF for conventional automatic transmissions (and some CVTs) and Valvoline Hybrid DCT for automatic transmissions equipped with a double-clutch system. These oils are designed to maximize the efficiency of automatic transmissions. They use additives to improve the thermal conductivity of oil, because the drive transmission systems are hybrid vehicles is very often integrated with electric motors/generators, which generates a higher operating temperature of the gear oil. The gear oils also contain the selected formulations that do not react with special colored metals (e.g. copper) used as material or coatings for sensitive electrical components in gearboxes.

All these factors mean that both the engine oil and transmission fluid dedicated to hybrid cars should be specially developed for the very specific and demanding operating conditions that prevail in this type of vehicle. By using Valvoline Hybrid intelligent fluids, the required level of protection of engine and transmission components remains high, which enables vehicle owners to enjoy all the advantages of hybrid technology for a long time.


Valvoline Europe Marketing