Energy company bp plans to invest up to £50m ($60m) in a battery testing centre and analytical laboratory in the UK.
The lab will be based at bp’s existing global headquarters for its Castrol business in Pangbourne, Berkshire, and will open by the end of 2024. The site already undertakes research and development of fuels, lubricants and EV fluids and aims to become a leading hub for fluid technologies and engineering in the UK. The new lab will mark the transition to supporting electric vehicles instead of internal combustion engines.
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The new facilities will help develop fluid technologies and engineering for hybrid and fully battery electric vehicles. Castrol’s EV fluids manage temperatures within the battery which enables fast charging and improves efficiency, which help EVs to go further on a single charge and extend the life of the drivetrain system.
In addition, the advanced e-fluid technologies and engineering can be applied to other industries such as thermal management fluids for data centres where demand is rising exponentially.
“We are committed to supporting the electrification of transport and the take-up of electric vehicles. The growth of EV fluids is a huge opportunity, and we aim to be the market leader in this sector,” said Michelle Jou, CEO of Castrol. “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. The facilities will also be an amazing showcase to demonstrate our integrated technology expertise to customers as we help drive the transition to EVs.”
Castrol 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. It will also look to develop future technologies required to help to enable the ultra-fast charging which underpins bp pulse’s growth strategy.
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