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BP to invest in new UK battery research & development center

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BP plans to invest up to around $60 million in a new electric vehicle (EV) battery testing center and analytical laboratory in the UK.

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Planned to open by the end of 2024, the new facilities will be located at BP’s existing global headquarters for its Castrol business in Pangbourne, Berkshire, and will support the technology, engineering and science roles housed there today, the company says. The site already undertakes research and development of fuels, lubricants and EV fluids.

The new facilities will help advance the development of leading fluid technologies and engineering for hybrid and fully battery electric vehicles, aiming to bring the industry closer to achieving the key tipping points for mainstream electric vehicle (EV) adoption, BP says. Castrol ON advanced EV fluids manages temperatures within the battery which enables ultra-fast charging and improves efficiency, which help EVs to go further on a single charge and extend the life of the drivetrain system, the company says. 

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In addition, the advanced e-fluid technologies and engineering can be applied to other industries, such as thermal management fluids for data centers. Most of the world’s Internet Protocol (IP) traffic goes through data centers and since 2010 the number of internet users worldwide has doubled, while global internet traffic has increased 15-fold a trend expected to continue over the next decade, BP says.

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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