Why lubricant electrical properties matter

As vehicle drivetrains become increasingly electrified, lubricants will encounter more and more new hardware. This doesn’t just include eMotors, but a wide range of electrical components used in battery modules and power electronics – all of which may be integrated into a compact eAxle or hybrid system. Electrical properties are playing a greater role in lubricant formulation, especially for dedicated solutions like electrified transmission fluids (ETF). Over time, thermal breakdown and oxidation can significantly affect a lubricant’s electrical properties so maintaining performance with age is also a priority. This article explores why electrical properties matter and covers: which are relevant for lubricants; which properties are important;  what influences them; the electrical property tests and how significant these tests are for electric vehicle lubricants.