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Castrol and Sprint Power are collaborating on a project to develop ultra-fast charging cells and battery packs for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell hybrid electric vehicles (FCHEVs).

Castrol ON battery test facility
Castrol fluid analysis
Castrol lab
  • · Collaboration part of Project CELERITAS, an APC (Advanced Propulsion Centre) funded initiative aimed at developing ultra-fast charging solutions for electric and fuel cell hybrid vehicles
  • · Sprint Power-designed battery modules are direct cooling-enabled, integrate all system electronics, and incorporate multiple charging protocols to save space and weight 
  • · Castrol ON EV Thermal Fluid will help enable batteries to charge more rapidly and offer increased performance and protection*.
  • · Castrol’s extensive and high-tech modelling, simulation and testing facilities utilised to test  the performance of the final module design
  • · Latest developments on show at Cenex-LCV (7-8 September)


Castrol and Sprint Power are collaborating on a project to develop ultra-fast charging cells and battery packs for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell hybrid electric vehicles (FCHEVs). Two Sprint Power designed battery modules that will use Castrol ON EV Thermal Fluids will deliver an 80% charge in just twelve minutes, making EVs an even more viable alternative for those still to make the switch to electrified mobility.

The collaboration between Castrol and Sprint Power is the result of Project CELERITAS, a £9.7 million project with £4.8 million funded through APC18, that aims to address existing consumer concerns related to the charging speeds of today’s electric vehicles. In addition to Castrol and Sprint Power, the consortium includes BMW, AMTE Power, Clas-SiC and Eltrium.  

UK-based Sprint Power is a leader in electrified propulsion systems, power electronics and battery systems. It has been developing two battery systems, one for BEV applications and one for hybrid applications, both of which integrate all system electronics and incorporate multiple charging protocols to save space and weight. They also include an integrated 800V to 14V DC/DC converter, an 800V Battery Management System (BMS), and ‘direct cooling’ capabilities – where the cells are immersed in a non-conductive cooling solution.

Castrol is providing its Castrol ON EV Thermal Fluid, which has been formulated specifically for direct cooling applications, to ensure these Sprint Power battery systems can be charged more rapidly and offer increased performance and protection*. Castrol is also utilising its state-of-the-art modelling and testing facilities to ensure both of the Sprint Power battery systems benefit from an optimised final design that can handle the greater stresses brought about by ultra-fast charging.

Advanced battery modules

The Sprint Power battery modules encompass a modular cell block design that can be adapted for a range of different applications, from sports cars through to electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) applications. 

The hybrid battery module has been packaged to fit a potential FCEV application, with an optimised design targeting a power/weight ratio of 3kW/kg, excluding the DC/DC converter. The module can deliver 5kWh of usable energy, with a peak charge/discharge rate of 230kW (105kW continuous). When adapted for a potential sports car application, this increases to 76kWh of usable energy, with a peak charge/discharge rate of 800kW (700kW continuous).

An integrated unidirectional 800V to 14V DC/DC converter handles a maximum power output of 3.5kW within a compact power dense package of 0.8kW/litre. As with every element of Sprint Power’s battery module, the DC/DC converter has been designed to be highly efficient, with a peak efficiency rating of 97%.

Incorporated within the module is Sprint Power’s master BMS that features a safety microcontroller for cybersecurity support, fault diagnostic capability, and the ability to support CHAdeMO or CCS charging standards. The system can supply a voltage of 8-16V and has been tested to operate in temperatures ranging from -40 degrees Celsius to 85 degrees Celsius. A slave BMS offers configurable support for various sizes of battery modules incorporating between 5-12 cells.

Castrol’s fluid expertise

The vast majority of today’s EV battery modules are thermally managed using water-glycol based coolants housed within channels that regulate the temperature of the cells. By comparison, the battery modules being developed as part of Project CELERITAS use Castrol ON EV Thermal Fluid, an innovative dielectric fluid that circulates within the module and comes into direct contact with the individual battery cells, increasing the thermal management surface area. This enables faster charging1 and significant improvements in thermal management in a range of operating conditions2, at high and low ambient temperatures, for a longer battery life3.   

By directly cooling the individual battery cells, Castrol’s dielectric fluid will also help to avoid the risk of ‘thermal runaway’, where high temperatures cause irreversible failure to individual battery cells as a result of overcharging or short-circuiting. Thermal runaway can also lead to thermal propagation, where heat from the damaged cell is transferred via convection and conduction to adjacent cells, a process that can potentially lead to catastrophic failure of the entire battery module. With direct cooling systems, temperature spikes within individual cells are less likely, and if they occur, can be quenched at source – unlike coolants used in indirect cooled systems. 

Extensive simulation and testing

Castrol’s extensive modelling and simulation expertise has enabled both parties to better understand how Castrol’s dielectric fluid will flow within the battery modules. This has enabled the Sprint Power team to optimise the battery module design for improved thermal performance. Simulation testing will also allow the team to test for thermal runaway. 

Optimised fluid dynamic tests will then help Castrol identify potential improvements for future ON products.

Castrol’s high-tech battery test cell facility will be used to test the working prototypes from early 2023 to help ensure they offer the performance, durability and safety required. The facility has the capability to test battery packs in temperatures ranging from -40 degrees Celsius to 85 degrees Celsius, and up to a peak of 1,200 Vdc and 600 kW.

Castrol and Sprint Power will showcase their latest developments on a shared stand at Cenex-LCV, an event that aims to position the UK as a leader in low carbon technology development, at the Millbrook Proving Ground from 7 to 8 September. Sprint Power will use the event to showcase a 3D model of the updated battery module design following results obtained from Castrol’s extensive simulation studies. Visitors to the event will be able to locate Castrol and Sprint Power on stand C3-608.  


*vs indirect cooled battery system.

Notes to editors

1: When compared against water glycol in an independently conducted modelling study with the same variables, Castrol ON EV Thermal Fluid demonstrated 41% faster charging (10 mins to 80% charge for Castrol ON EV Thermal Fluid, compared to 14.1 mins for existing water glycol fluids)

2: Independent tests have shown that Castrol ON EV Thermal Fluid provides increased thermal management performance against water glycol indirect coolants. Source explaining the benefits of thermal management: Thermal management of lithium‐ion batteries for electric vehicles; G. Karimi X. Li; International Journal of Energy Research; Volume37, Issue1; January 2013; pages 13-24.

3: Effective thermal management of cells (keeping temperature within their ideal operating range) reduces premature aging through loss of ‘state of health’, and therefore maintains battery capacity for longer. Source: Capacity vs days data: Calendar aging of commercial graphite/LiFePO4 cell e. Predicting capacity fade under time-dependent storage conditions, Sébastien Grolleau, Arnaud Delaille, Hamid Gualous, Philippe Gyan, Renaud Revel, Julien Bernard, Eduardo Redondo-Iglesias, Jérémy Peter; on behalf of the SIMCAL Network Journal of Power Sources 255 (2014) 450-458 LFP cells. 


About Castrol 

Castrol, one of the world’s leading lubricant brands, has a proud heritage of innovation and fuelling the dreams of pioneers. Our passion for performance, combined with a philosophy of working in partnership, has enabled Castrol to develop lubricants and greases that have been at the heart of numerous technological feats on land, air, sea, and space for over 100 years.  


Today, Castrol is helping drive sustainability with our Path360 strategy that sets out aims for 2030 to save waste, reduce carbon and improve lives. Castrol is part of the BP group and serves customers and consumers in the automotive, marine, industrial and energy sectors. 


Our branded products are recognized globally for innovation and high performance through our commitment to premium quality and cutting-edge technology.  


To find out more about Castrol please visit or contact


About Sprint Power

Sprint Power specialises in the innovation of electric propulsion systems and offers strategic services and full technology solutions to customers. Its capabilities include alternative powertrain development and the manufacture and the integration of power electronics and electronic management systems. 

More information is available via the Sprint Power website ( The company can also be found on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.