Oxfordshire’s Williams Advanced Engineering to co-develop Electric Vehicle Fluids with Castrol

Paul McNamara, Technical Director WAE and Rebecca Yates, VP Advanced Mobility Castrol
Williams Advanced Engineering Castrol

Williams Advanced Engineering based at Grove near Wantage, has entered into a five-year technical partnership with Berkshire headquartered British oil giant Castrol to co-develop high performance Electric Vehicle (EV) Fluids. As part of the agreement, Castrol will become the official supplier of EV Thermal Fluids for WAE’s growing electrification programmes and motorsport activities such as Formula E, Extreme E, ETCR and LMdH.

Castrol will develop and supply EV Thermal Fluids that are suitable for Williams Advanced Engineering’s (WAE) high-performance motorsport batteries from May next year.

While the partnership will initially focus on Williams Advanced Engineering’s motorsport activities, the two companies will look to develop a full range of EV Fluids for wider electrification projects covering the aerospace and marine sectors. With many forms of mobility now focused on electrification, the need for advanced battery cooling systems to operate reliably and efficiently is essential, said Williams Advanced Engineering in a statement.

The partnership will enable Williams Advanced Engineering to access the complete Castrol ON product range, which includes EV Transmission Fluids, EV Thermal Fluids and EV Greases; allowing WAE’s technical teams to access the latest developments in EV Fluids for battery cooling systems, including immersive cooling technology. Concepts will also be explored to improve second life performance and circularity of batteries and fluids.

By jointly identifying, specifying and developing advanced EV Thermal Fluids for specific applications, Castrol and Williams Advanced Engineering aim to create industry-leading products, optimised for each specific application.

Craig Wilson, CEO, Williams Advanced Engineering said: “We are delighted to be part of this strategic partnership with Castrol which I believe will allow the development of products specifically designed to support electrification, in whatever form that takes. In addition to the motorsport sector, I believe advanced fluid technology will be important to a number of other key sectors.”

AS. Ramchander, Vice President – Marketing and GAM, Castrol said: “As the world of mobility accelerates towards an electric future, it’s essential that we fully understand the requirements and challenges of electrifying all forms of mobility. By partnering with Williams Advanced Engineering, we hope to support the development of cutting-edge mobility solutions, as well as further advance our EV Fluid technologies.”

Unlike cars with combustion engines, which require a multi-speed transmission, the e-motor in an electric vehicle produces a consistent amount of torque, almost regardless of RPM. As a result, the majority of EVs feature a much simpler single-speed transmission, with an option for neutral and reverse gears too.  That being said, it’s likely that – as the market’s offering of EV technology evolves – electric cars with multi-speed transmissions will become more widely available.

Castrol says that it’s important to note that the role of EV transmission fluid is even more vital in an EV. That’s because the demands on EV transmissions are more severe than conventional transmissions, with maximum torque delivered at low speeds and the increasing integration of electric motors. And EV transmissions are now evolving from a separate electric motor and EV transmission, to a combined system demanding more from the EV fluids.

Williams Advanced Engineering Limited is a world-leading technology and engineering services business delivering pioneering innovation to improve performance, efficiency and sustainability to a global customer base.

The company can trace its foundations back to 2010 when Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited began diversifying its operations; a division which later became Williams Advanced Engineering Limited. In December 2019, Williams Grand Prix Engineering sold a majority equity stake in Williams Advanced Engineering to EMK Capital.