Jump menu

Main content |  back to top

Meeting the energy challenge

A major challenge for our industry is the need for more energy - but cleaner energy, used more efficiently.
When it comes to addressing the global energy challenge, we believe the best and fastest way to improve energy efficiency and lower CO2 emissions is to work more closely with equipment manufacturers. A more cohesive approach between the development of new engine technologies, and the development of new grade fuels and lubricants, will accelerate the overall efficiency gains that can be made in the near future.

We believe that close collaboration and relationships underline very clearly the potential of a co-engineering approach to deliver really significant benefits in energy efficiency. This is helping to deliver against new legislation coming into place across the world and tough economic conditions that require customers to look ways to reduce costs.

The knowledge gained as a result of such collaborations will help us remain at the forefront of technology, and enable us to apply that technology to the everyday challenges our customers face, today and in the future.

Cars, lubricants and the global energy challenge

Could a new approach to lubricants specifications and co-engineering help passenger cars use less energy?  Technology manager Robert Mainwaring explores the issues and options.  Read his story.

Working together to deliver customer value

Trucks under starters orders from Shell petrol station

No matter how big or small our customers’ challenges, we meet them head on and learn from them to deliver future solutions.  Our engineers work closely with equipment manufacturers, universities and industry bodies.  Together we run trials to develop products and lubrication solutions aimed at helping to reduce exhaust emissions and improve fuel efficiency. 

Example - Working with Mercedes Benz Trucks - Fuel Economy product and trials

Our collaboration with the engineering team at Mercedes-Benz Trucks in Germany contributed to the development of Shell Rimula R6 LME – our most advanced fuel-efficient, low-emission lubricant for heavy-duty diesel engines. It uses a unique technology that adapts chemically and physically to meet the changing needs of heavy-duty engines. It provides the right level of engine protection and contributes to efficient transport operations by helping to reduce fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions.

Daimler 'Record Run'.  Setting a new standard in fuel efficiency.

Earlier this year we continued this collaboration with the Mercedes-Benz parent group, Daimler - the world’s largest supplier of trucks - with a 10,000km road test in Germany to test the fuel efficiency of their newest truck series Actros Euro 5 and Actros Euro 6. The trucks were powered by Shell FuelSave Diesel and filled with Shell Rimula R6 LME heavy duty engine oil. By combining the latest engine technology with cutting edge fuel and lubricant technology, fuel savings of up to 7.6 per cent were reported when compared to their current truck series.

The relationship continues.  Daimler will be launching its first commercial operation in India with Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) and its new brand called 'BharatBenz', with production to begin mid 2012.  Shell will supply initial fill for fully synthetic heavy-duty diesel engine oil to DICV and will support Daimler's objective to provide extended maintenance intervals to their customers in India as well as optimal engine protection. 

Working closely with DICV in India as a result of Shell's long-standing relationship and technical collaboration with Daimler headquarters in Germany, Shell was able to clearly demonstrate that its heavy-duty lubricants delivered the benefits and customer value that Daimler was specifically looking for.

Example - Working with Gordon Murray Design to develop concept lubricant that achieved 6.5% fuel economy benefit

Another project which we are really excited about is our work with Gordon Murray Design, a British automotive design company. We tested a 0W-10 concept oil in their radical lightweight urban passenger vehicle and achieved a 6.5 per cent reduction in urban-cycle fuel consumption, compared to a 10W-30 oil. Although in the concept stage, this represents a major advancement in lubricant technology and what we have learnt feeds in to the products we are developing for use in the near future.

Time and again, our relationships bring great results:

  • Working with Daimler, we developed Shell Rimula R6 LME – delivering the triple benefits of low emissions, maintenance savings and fuel economy of up to 2%*
  • We provided Rio Tinto’s Australian mining truck fleet with an increase in oil drain intervals of 100% thanks to Shell Rimula R3 MV**
  • Through our joint research, we helped Wartsila further improve and adapt their low-speed engine lubrication systems
  • We worked with Komatsu to develop a hydraulic fluid, Shell Tellus S4 VX (previously called Shell Tellus Arctic), to lubricate in extreme temperatures and allow its equipment to operate all year round
  • Co-developed with ZF, our ‘fill-for-life’ automatic transmission fluid delivers wear protection and improved fuel economy

*Compared to a typical 10W-40 oil.
**The savings indicated are specific to the calculation date and mentioned site. These calculations may vary from site to site depending on application, operating conditions, current products being used, condition of the equipment and maintenance practices.

Motorsports partnerships

The ultimate testbed

Motorsport is the most demanding test of our lubricants, as illustrated by these case studies.


Shell and Scuderia Ferrari’s close technical partnership is one of the most successful in the history of motorsport.  The Ferrari Formula One car is powered and protected by Shell’s tailor-made racing products.
A winning partnership
Shell’s technical partnership with Ferrari is one of the most successful collaborations in the history of worldclass motorsport, with over 150 Formula One race wins in over 480 races by the end of 2011. Strong track success leads to improved road performance, as we transfer the latest technology from Formula One customers through to the Shell Helix lubricants range.

At the heart of Ferrari’s Formula One operation is the Shell Trackside Laboratory, present in the Ferrari engineering area at every race of the season, where Shell scientists work to obtain the optimum performance from the cars at all times. At the heart of Ferrari’s Formula One operation is the Shell Trackside laboratory, present in the Ferrari compound at every race of the season, where Shell scientists work to obtain the optimum performance from the cars at all times.

Shell Helix Ultra performs in engines operating at up to 18,000rpm and piston temperatures exceeding 300°C.
Our shared passion has resulted in:

  • Over 450 races with more than 150 victories.
  • Ten Constructors’ World Championship titles.
  • 12 Drivers’ World Championship titles.


Lubricating motorcycle machinery for the MotoGP team.
32 race wins, one riders' title, one manufacturers' title and one teams' title.


Lubricating engines under extreme race conditions.
We helped our customer win the prestigious Daytona 500 in our return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2007. Shell was chosen by Penske Racing as their official fuel and motor oil supplier from 2011.