The automotive industry is being asked to reduce CO2 levels and improve fuel consumption industry wide. This demand is being driven by government, environmental groups and consumers wanting a more efficient vehicle. One of the easiest ways to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy today is through the use of highly viscous oils. Many highly efficient current model year vehicles recommend the use of 5W20 or 0W20 motor oils. These oils have been engineered to meet low emissions standards, improved fuel economy measures and to provide all the protective and cleaning powers of modern oils.
Well the next generation of high efficient oils for the consumer market is being driven by Shell with their 0W10 motor oil which is being tested in a specific light vehicle application. At this point there is no timeline for when this oil will be introduced on factory vehicles but Shell has noted the oil produced an additional 6.5% in fuel mileage when compared to its 10W30 counterpart in testing on the T.25 future concept car.
Interestingly, a number of high performance motor oil companies produce 0W5 and 0W10 but they are meant for specific racing applications such as drag racing. These oils are meant for extreme uses and would not be able to provide the level of protection required on a modern commuter vehicle. We will all have to wait for the availability of 0W10 for the consumer market. One should keep in mind that even if a 0W10 becomes available on the market, you should only use the recommended viscosity for your vehicle.