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Oil Companies, Automakers Team Up to Save Internal Combustion Engine

Nov 29, 2017 | By CENS

Forced by growing worry about the increasingly strict emission standards for cars and the rise of electric vehicles to together jeopardize the continued existence of internal combustion engines, big oil companies and giant auto makers are teaming up to stave off the death of such a component which has been used for over a century in the global automotive industry by taking advantage of their secret weapon: high-tech engine oil.

Exxon Mobil, an American multinational oil and gas corporation, and Royal Dutch Shell, a British–Dutch multinational oil and gas company, have announced to cooperate with Ford, an American multinational automaker, and FCA, an Italian-American corporation and currently the world's eighth-largest auto maker, to pour millions of dollars into the R&D of next-gen super high-tech engine oil.

Market insiders noted that the new engine oil can increase the efficiency of internal combustion engines, expected to help gasoline-powered vehicles to remain alive in existence at a time when the increasingly strict carbon emission and energy efficiency regulations on new cars are enforced all over the world, while ever more electric vehicles are developed and launched.

Several countries, namely the United Kingdom, France, China and India, have declared to ban conventional gasoline-powered vehicles to hit roads in the future decades. Meanwhile, European Union plans to decrease CO2 emission of cars and vans by 30 percent before 2030; on another front, the Chinese government wants new energy vehicles (NEVs) to make up at least a fifth of the country's estimated annual auto sales of 35 million units by 2025.

To keep up with the trends, world's major car makers have promised to launch more electric cars in the coming decade. Among them, General Motors, an American multinational corporation making cars, for example, has declared that it will sell one million electric cars by 2026.

However, the carmakers' promises on more electric vehicles may upset themselves in the short term, as such products contribute only a little to their revenues at present despite years of promotional efforts. To stay profitable in the transition, many of them still look at internal combustion engine vehicles as their cash cows, and therefore have focused on efficiency improvement of gasoline engines.

Exxon Mobil noted that the new engine oil, now being jointly developed by Exxon and FCA, can hardly vaporize, and, noteworthily, the high-tech oil will be able to function in the high-heat and high-pressure environment.

David, a project manager from Kline Consulting company, a global well-known business consulting firm, indicated that with the new lubrication oil, auto makers will be able to build smaller-sized turbo engines, whose working efficiency is 15 percent higher than that of previous types.


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