Energy giant bp announced today plans to invest up to (£50 million) $60 million in a new electric vehicle (EV) battery testing centre and analytical laboratory in the UK. The facilities will support the development of fluid technologies and engineering for hybrid and fully battery EVs.
In a statement announcing its new plans, bp said that the technologies aim “to bring the industry closer to reaching the key tipping points for mainstream EV adoption.”
The new facilities, which are planned to open by the end of 2024 will be located at bp’s existing global headquarters for its lubricant brand Castrol in Berkshire and will support the technology, engineering, and science roles currently housed there. The site already undertakes R&D for fuels, lubricants, and EV fluids.
Louise Kingham, bp’s UK head of the country, said:
“We’re backing Britain. We’re fully committed to the UK’s energy transition. This additional investment will help accelerate the transition to EVs by developing solutions to help decarbonise the transport sector. This is another example of our ambitious plans to do more, and go faster.”
Castrol plans to use the new facilities to continue working with car makers and suppliers to jointly engineer future battery technology and associated thermal management fluids. The company’s advanced EV fluids, Castrol ON, manage the temperatures within the battery which enables fast charging and improves efficiency, helping EVs go further on a single charge.
The advanced e-fluid technologies and engineering can be applied to other industries such as thermal management fluids for data centers where demand is growing.
Michelle Jou, CEO Castrol, said:
“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. 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.”
The initiative will also look to create future technologies needed to enable the ultra-fast charging supporting the strategy of bp’s EV charging business, bp pulse.
Earlier this year, bp unveiled plans to invest £1 billion to build out its EV charging infrastructure and network in the UK, enabling bp pulse to deliver more rapid and ultra-fast chargers in key locations, expand fleet products, and services, and launch new home charge digital products and services.
Richard Bartlett, Senior Vice President, bp pulse, said:
“At bp pulse we aim to provide the fastest and most reliable charging experience to our EV customers and continue to invest in our rapid and ultra-fast network globally for passenger cars and trucks. 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.”