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bp invests up to £50 million in new global battery research.


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bp invests up to £50 million in the UK for a new electric vehicle battery testing centre and analytical laboratory in Pangbourne.

Designed to advance engineering, battery technology and fluid technology, and engineering in new applications such as electric vehicles, charging and data centres.

The new facility at Castrol Headquarters and Technology Centre is scheduled to open in 2024 and will support the technical, engineering and scientific work currently located there.

bp today announced plans to invest up to £50 million (approximately $60 million) in a new state-of-the-art electric vehicle battery testing centre and analytical laboratory in the UK. bp has previously announced its intention to invest up to £18bn in the UK energy system by the end of 2030; this additional new investment is another example of bp’s commitment to the country.

Scheduled to open in late 2024, the new facility will be based at bp’s existing global headquarters for Castrol’s operations in Pangbourne, Berkshire, and will support the technical, engineering and scientific functions based there today. The base already conducts research and development in fuels, lubricants and electric vehicle fluids, and aspires to be the UK’s leading centre for fluid technology and engineering.

“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,” said Louise Kingham, bp’s UK head of country.

The new facility will help advance the development of leading fluid technologies and technologies for hybrid and pure battery electric vehicles, with the goal of bringing the industry closer to a critical inflection point in electric vehicle adoption. Castrol’s advanced e-liquid controls the temperature within the battery, enabling ultra-fast charging and increasing efficiency, helping electric vehicles go further on a single charge and extending the life of the powertrain.

Additionally, advanced E-Fluid technology and engineering can be applied to other industries such as Thermal management fluids for data centres where demand is growing exponentially. Most of the world’s Internet Protocol traffic travels through data centres, the number of global Internet users has doubled since 2010, and global Internet traffic has grown 15-fold, a trend that is expected to continue for several years over the next decade.

Michelle Jou, CEO Castrol said: “We are committed to supporting the electrification of transport and the take-up of electric vehicles. The growth of Electric Vehicle 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 Electric Vehicle fluids as a part of their factory fill and we also supply Castrol ON Electric Vehicle 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 Electric Vehicle 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.”

Richard Bartlett, senior vice president, bp pulse added: “At bp pulse we aim to provide the fastest and most reliable charging experience to our Electric Vehicle 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.”

bp invests £50 million so that Castrol can use the new facility to continue working with automakers and suppliers on the development of future battery technologies and related thermal management fluids. It will also seek to develop the future technologies needed to support ultra-fast charging that supports the bp pulse growth strategy.

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