BP invests £50 million in battery development centre


BP has announced it is investing up to £50 million to open a new electric vehicle battery research and development centre.

The centre, which will be located at BP’s Castrol headquarters in Pangbourne, near Reading, is part of a wider £18 billion which the company has pledged to invest into the country by the end of 2030.

Scheduled to open in 2024, the new facilities will support the technology, engineering and science research already undertaken at the site, which develops fuels, lubricants and EV fluids.

Louise Kingham, BP’s UK head of 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,”

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The new facilities will look to aid the development of fluid technologies and engineering for hybrid and fully electric vehicles, working towards the key tipping points for mainstream EV adoption. Castrol’s fluids manage temperatures within the battery, improving charging time and efficiency.

The technologies developed in EV research also have applications in other industries including data centres, which are responsible for most of the world’s internet traffic.

Michelle Jou, CEO of 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.

“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.”

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