Castrol Invests in EV Batteries, Fluid Research


Castrol Invests in EV Batteries, Fluid Research
A BP employee examines a sample of Castrol thermal cooling fluid for electric vehicles. © Photo courtesy BP

BP earlier this month announced plans to invest up to £50 million (U.S. $58 million) to build an electric vehicle battery testing center and analytical laboratory in the United Kingdom. The company said it will use the facility to develop coolants for batteries used in hybrid and fully electric vehicles, as well as batteries themselves.

Michelle Jou, CEO of BP’s Castrol business, said the company is committed to supporting the electrification of transport and the uptake of electric vehicles. “The growth of EV fluids is a huge opportunity, and we aim to be the market leader in this sector,” Jou said. “Two-thirds of the world’s major car manufacturers use Castrol ON EV fluids as a part of their factory fill, and we also supply Castrol ON EV fluids to the Jaguar TCS Racing Formula E team. This significant new investment will now allow us to build additional strategic technologies and capabilities to further advance EV fluids for the future.”

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The company previously said it would invest up to £18 billion in the U.K.’s energy system by the end of 2030. “We’re fully committed to the UK’s energy transition,” Louise Kingham, head of BP’s operations in the U.K., said in a press release earlier this month. “This additional investment will help accelerate the transition to EVs by developing solutions to help decarbonize the transport sector.”

Expected to open by the end of 2024, the new center and lab will be located at BP’s existing global headquarters for its Castrol business in Pangbourne, Berkshire County, and will support the technology, engineering and science roles housed there now. The site already conducts research and development of fuels, lubricants and EV fluids, and the company said it aims to become a leading hub for fluid technologies and engineering in the U.K.

BP said the goal of advancing fluid technologies and engineering for EVs is to bring the industry closer to achieving key “tipping points” for mainstream EV adoption. Castrol’s ON advanced e-fluids are billed as managing temperatures within the EV battery, enabling ultra-fast charging and improving efficiency. The goal is to help electric vehicles travel further on a single charge and extend the life of the drivetrain system. Castrol’s ON products also include EV transmission fluids and EV greases.

The company noted that e-fluid technologies and engineering can also be applied to other industries, such as data centers, where demand for thermal management fluids is rising exponentially.

Castrol said it intends to use the new facilities to continue to work with car manufacturers and suppliers to co-engineer future battery technology and associated thermal management fluids.

BP pulse is the company’s EV charging business. Richard Bartlett, senior vice president, bp pulse, added, “This investment will help us co-develop battery and charger technology and digital solutions with our OEM partners to help EVs go further, charge faster and last longer.”

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