BP (LON:BP) has outlined plans to invest up to £50 million in a new electric vehicle (EV) battery testing centre and analytical laboratory in the UK.
Planned to open by the end of 2024, the new facilities will be located at the supermajor’s existing global headquarters for its Castrol business in Pangbourne, Berkshire. Around 400 staff currently work at the site, across technology, engineering and science roles.
The Pangbourne campus already undertakes research and development of fuels, lubricants and EV fluids and BP said the new facilities will help advance technologies and engineering to support hybrid and fully battery electric vehicles,
In addition, the advanced “e-fluid” technologies and engineering can be applied to other industries – such as thermal management fluids for data centres, the demand for which is rising exponentially.
BP previously announced plans to invest up to £18 billion in the UK’s energy system by the end of 2030, and this “additional” investment is provides further evidence of its “commitment” to the UK, it 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,” added BP head of country for the UK, Louise Kingham.
Castrol chief executive Michelle Jou said: “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.”
Richard Bartlett, senior vice president for BP’s Pulse EV charging business said the funding would also help the group co-develop battery and charger technology and digital solutions with its partners to help EVs “go further, charge faster and last longer.”