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Rebecca Yates, VP Advanced Mobility & Industrial Products, bp, talks about the pivotal role that Castrol’s e-fluids technology is playing in driving the EVolution.

A Once-In-A-Generation Opportunity: Castrol's Role in Driving the EVolution

The future is electric

At Castrol, we believe that it is vital to be at the forefront of the future of mobility. Looking at predictions for the vehicle mix over the coming decades, the size of the opportunity becomes clear. According to bp Energy Outlook Rapid Transition Scenario ‎estimate, there could be 1 billion electrified cars & trucks in the global vehicle parc by 2040, and EVs could account for 80% of passenger cars in use by 2050.


One thing is not in doubt: the industry is set to undergo monumental change over the next few years.


With our leading technical expertise and pioneering approach, Castrol is at the cutting-edge. We are developing new specifications and fluids at our R&D facilities, and collaborating closely with OEMs and suppliers, pushing boundaries to co-engineer the next generation of e-fluids. Alongside this work to improve fluid technology, we offer training to automotive workshops in how to maintain and service EVs and hybrids, while providing EV service and maintenance through our Castrol service centres across the world. We’re also taking this knowledge and expertise and applying it to supplying advanced e-fluids for e-motorbikes and commercial EVs.


But there will still be many diesel and petrol-powered vehicles on the road for years to come. By 2040, according to bp Energy Outlook’s Rapid transition scenario, the number of cars on the roads is likely to have grown massively, and around 1.6 billion of the forecasted 2.3 billion cars and trucks are likely to still require engine oils. Alongside enabling electrification, engine oils will continue to be an important part of our business. We will keep working on oils for ICE vehicles that improve efficiency, and we will keep developing lower-carbon lubricants to help reduce environmental impact.


The tipping points to mainstream adoption

Despite a 29% decline in the light-vehicle market during the first quarter of 2020, global electric vehicle market penetration increased from 2.5% to 2.8%2. Accelerating the EVolution found that the average consumer would consider buying an EV by 2024, and some governments across the world have announced a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. Although these milestones are rapidly approaching, roadblocks remain: the EVs that are currently on the market do not quite match consumer expectations. While there are EVs available now that meet some of the tipping points, there isn’t currently an EV that meets all of them. This is where there is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the industry to develop an EV that meets the needs of the average consumer. And we believe that Castrol has a key role to play.


How Castrol is helping to drive the EVolution

Although many associate Castrol with the world of petrol and diesel-powered vehicles, we have been working in the realm of hybrids and EVs for over a decade and exploring new opportunities in the future of e-mobility.

Castrol has a history of pioneering technology that spans more than a century. Our core mission is deliberately inclusive: we aim to ‘serve every driver, every motorcyclist and every industry on earth’, through liquid engineering. That means creating high performance lubricants which improve efficiency in every vehicle application or industrial use-case. These lubricants are as essential to EVs as they are to ICE vehicles. Advanced Castrol ON e-Fluids can bring us closer to reaching the tipping points identified in the Accelerating the EVolution study by increasing the durability and longevity of vehicle components and extending battery range or increasing battery charge rates.

For example, e-Transmission Fluids protect component parts, making them last longer, and can enable lower-cost parts to be used in transmission. Greater energy efficiency can also extend the range that a vehicle can travel on a single charge. Dielectric e-Thermal fluids enable ultra-fast charging by allowing a higher rate of charge without damaging the battery cells.


Already, two out of three of the world’s major car manufacturers use Castrol ON e-Fluids as part of their factory fill for EVs2, and this is just the beginning. 


Co-engineering will be key to driving the EVolution

To make the future of mobility a reality will require significant collaboration and co-engineering across a long and complex global supply chain. Accelerating the EVolution found that although consumers say they would consider buying an EV by 2024 on average, most believe that it will be 2030 when the majority of new cars purchased are electric. The mobility ecosystem must continue to work together on addressing the long-term technical challenges to widespread electrification so that EVs become a genuine choice; a mainstream consumer choice.  

While the challenges ahead cannot be solved by e-Fluids alone, they have an important part to play. Castrol ON products are catering to the needs of our customers today and tomorrow, making electric vehicles go further3, charge faster4 and last longer5*.


1McKinsey Electric Vehicle Index: Electric Vehicle Trends
2Based on LMCA data for top 20  selling OEMs (total new car sales) in 2019.  Used as part of OEM factory fill.
*Castrol e-Fluids benefits are demonstrated in bespoke testing and development.
3vs mass market EV factory fill fluid 4 vs indirect cooled battery system 5 vs standard EV-transmission fluid.