Oil majors Shell and Total are set to introduce their branding to the new field of Formula E, which is focused on all-electric racing vehicles.
Both companies have a long history of being involved in traditional racing, with Shell having been sponsors of the Ferrari Formula 1 team for decades. The move therefore may seem odd given both companies’ engagement in producing fossil fuels, but it all comes down to the new lubrication and coolant products that are needed by electric vehicles (EVs).
Shell Lubricants Technology General Manager Richard Tucker said to Reuters about this:
“Most people looking at a Formula E car or indeed an electric road vehicle would think there’s no content from a company like ours. But there are still lubricants and coolants involved in that technology, and we want to be pioneering in that space.”
The city-based racing series has become favoured by big car makers looking to showcase and test their EV technology. The likes of Citroen’s DS brand, Jaguar, Monaco-based Venturi, Nissan, and China’s Nio now compete alongside the big four German brands in the series, which is currency in its sixth season and about to gain world championship status from the FIA.
Tucker further pointed out the need for new products for EVs, such as to help remove heat quickly from batteries when rapidly charging them. He said Shell is currently developing a range of immersion coolant products where the batteries will come into direct contact with the liquid for efficient cooling.