Unlike gas-powered and hybrid cars, electric vehicles do not need engine oil. Electric engines generate much less friction than the other types of engines. Thus, engine oil is not necessary in an electric car. But other fluids are.
Electric engines do not need engine oil
To better understand why electric cars do not need engine oil, it is necessary to look at the differences between combustion and electric engines.
Combustion engines are deeply complex. They consist of many metallic parts that keep on moving: crankshaft, valves, pistons, connecting rods, camshafts, etc. The role of these mechanical components is to turn the pistons’ vertical movement, that is produced by the air/fuel explosion in the cylinder, into a rotational movement, which will be transferred to the wheels.
The friction between these different parts causes a loss of energy efficiency, a heat release, and the development of deposit. In more simple terms, the engine wears out. The role of engine oil is precisely to reduce this friction, slow down the increase in temperature and the metal erosion.
To this end, oil is essential in classic combustion engines. Otherwise, the engine could be seriously damaged after only a few miles.
Mechanically speaking, electric engines are far less complex than combustion ones since they generate a rotational movement (rotor’s circular movement which is produced by magnetic field). Thus, electric engines can drive the wheels without relying on the various mechanical parts combustion engines need. That’s why electric cars do not need engine oil. Yet, they require other fluids to work properly.
What fluids do electric cars need?
Although they work without engine oil, electric cars need other types of lubricants to remain in good operating condition.
- Transmission fluids: electric cars are less complex than gas-powered cars, but they still have some mechanical parts (e.g., in the transmission block). To efficiently lubricate the components, it is necessary to use fully insulating fluids with thermal properties suitable for electric engines. The Quartz EV Fluids have been conceived to meet the electric cars’ needs. Transmission fluids should be replaced rarely: once or twice during the vehicle’s lifetime.
- Engine coolant: this fluid will reduce the risk of battery and inverter overheating. Ideally, the first replacement of the coolant should take place after the car has travelled approximatively 49,000 miles.
- Brake fluid: although regenerative braking plays a major role, brake fluid is also essential in electric cars. When the electric car has enough brake fluid, the brake pads, and the disc brakes work properly and guarantee the passengers’ safety. You should replace it every two years or every 24,000 miles.
How does regenerative braking work?
Regenerative braking is used in both electric and hybrid cars. When you press the brake pedal, the electric engine becomes an electric generator which is powered by the kinetic movement of the braking wheels. The advantage is twofold. First, the engine participates in braking. Secondly, the electricity generated by the engine is immediately stored in the batteries.