Electric vehicle transmission driveline cut open to reveal fluids inside.

Driveline fluids for electric vehicles  

To help meet the challenges in formulating electric vehicle (EV) drivetrain fluids, synthetic base oils can provide an optimal balance of lubricant, thermal and electrical properties, while enhancing energy efficiency and long lubricant life.  

EV requirements are diverse and often unique to traditional lubrication challenges. New fluids and development approaches are required to address future needs.

lubricant challenges property retention chart

Automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEM) are moving toward integrated systems in which one fluid is used for lubrication, thermal management and electrical performance.

ExxonMobil is uniquely positioned to collaborate on these EV challenges through our broad, diverse fluid options and our enhanced understanding of chemical compatibility due to integration across business lines. To help solve challenges and increase speed to market, we encourage equipment manufacturers to collaborate with us.

Synthetic hydrocarbon base oils

Conventional polyalphaolefin (cPAO) synthetic base stocks demonstrate better performance than Group II and Group III mineral oils in critical capability areas. We’re also developing novel molecules to meet EV fluid challenges. In laboratory testing, these new molecules demonstrate outstanding performance.

Excellent thermal properties

Novel-PAO and cPAO blends demonstrate high thermal efficiency and dielectric properties that enable direct cooling, compared to mineral-based oils.

Estimated heat transfer coefficient  compared to power and KV at 100 degrees Celsius.


Novel-PAO blend, conventional PAO blend, and Gr II+/III+ blend traction coefficient and roll ratio.

Enhanced energy efficiency

In MTM traction tests, novel-PAO and cPAO blends demonstrate lower friction coefficient and torque loss compared to Group II+/III+ blends. This performance can help enhance energy efficiency in mechanical systems and extend range in electric vehicles.


Improved wear protection

The novel-PAO blend maintains superior EHL film thickness compared to a Group II+/Group III+ blend and a reference automatic transmission fluid. This performance enables improved wear protection in mechanical systems.

PAO blend, commercial ATF, and II+ blend performance by temperature.


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