‘Lubricants market will grow well, EVs both an opportunity and a challenge’:

Petroleum-based lubricants used in internal combustion engines (ICEs) are being threatened by the growing trend of electric vehicles (EVs), which run on batteries instead of engines. Gulf Oil Lubricants India Limited, part of the Hinduja Group-owned Gulf Oil International, is a leading player in the domestic lubricants market and is valued at around Rs 4,500 crore on the stock exchanges. In conversation with Aggam Walia, Ravi Chawla, Managing Director and CEO, Gulf Oil India, talks about tackling the EV threat, Gulf’s acquisitions in the EV sector and the role of lubricants in improving fuel economy.
The lubricants market, at least in India and Asia, is set to grow well. When we say good growth 7% to 8% growth in automobiles, generally there will be half of that growth in lubricants as a percentage of volume.

A recent study by Klein said that even with the current rate of EV penetration, the lubricants market will continue to grow by 3% in volume for the next 10 years. We believe that the growth will be slightly higher, so there is no problem for the next 10-12 years. In fact, 75% of lubricants consumed in industry, construction and automobiles today will not be affected by EVs.
For us, EV entry is both an opportunity and a challenge. First opportunity EVs require EV fluids – transmission fluids, brake fluids, greases, coolants – so we’re already there with 7 or 8 OEMs. We are confident we will be in a leadership position in EV fluids, which is not a very large volume–not even 1% but still a play is there.

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