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PC-12: Last of the HD engine oils?

June 17, 2024
PC-12 is anticipated to be active through 2040 once these oils hit the market in 2027, but will it be the last heavy-duty engine oil class that ever needs to be developed?

Given the mounting obsession with converting commercial fleets to battery-electric, one might wonder if PC-12 could be the last heavy-duty engine oil class that ever needs to be developed. After all, PC-12 is anticipated to be active through 2040 once these oils hit the market in 2027, according to Karin Haumann, OEM technical manager at Shell Global Solutions.

Will there be a need for a new oil class beyond that timeframe?

“That’s the million-dollar question a lot of people have been asking,” said Bill O’Ryan, senior manager for EOLCS/DEF at the American Petroleum Institute (API), the organization that spearheads the development of new engine oil classes. “I think there will be. Diesel is still the preferred compression-ignition engine for heavy-duty fleets.”

Read more: The future of HDEOs: leaner and cleaner | Fleet Maintenance

OEMs such as Daimler Truck and Volvo plan on being carbon neutral by 2039, but that doesn’t mean internal combustion will go away.

“I’m certain we’ll be developing a PC-13 when the time comes,” said Paul Cigala, senior commercial vehicle lubricants applications engineer at ExxonMobil. “Even with the push of the government, EV is not going to be for long-haul. Until an EV battery can supply 750-800 miles, you’re going to put that in line with a CNG engine. There’s a long way to go before we get there.”

“If battery-electric trucks have adequate range, there is adequate charging infrastructure, and utilities can deliver the power, truckers might be more optimistic about the industry considering EV,” added Walt Collier, commercial sector manager for Chevron.

Read more: Engine oils to evolve with emissions standards | Fleet Maintenance

“The expectation is for future engine oil categories to continue to be introduced,” said Steve Bowles, CITGO STLE-certified senior lube specialist and oil monitoring analyst. “The infrastructure for alternatives such as EVs and hydrogen still needs to be developed, and that may take many years.”

About the Author

Gregg Wartgow

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