Castrol readying for BS-VI transition with new lubricants

Nandana James Mumbai | Updated on July 24, 2019

Kedar Apte, Vice-President Marketing, Castrol India   -  BUSINESS LINE

We’re also ready to take advantage of the shift to EVs, says Marketing V-P Kedar Apte

Castrol India Ltd, an automotive and industrial lubricant manufacturing company, announced it is ready for the BS-VI transition by launching a range of BS-VI compliant lubricants across categories.

Kedar Apte, Vice President – Marketing, Castrol India, said that it sees the proposed electrification of vehicles announced by the Government as an opportunity, drawing attention to the requirements for lubricants that even electric vehicles would have.

The BS-VI emission standards are to be enforced from April 1, 2020. The government has been talking about mandating electric three-wheelers by 2023 and two-wheelers by 2025.

“We don’t look at it as a challenge, we look at it as a great opportunity. I believe that we are really very well placed.

“We are not only ready, but we are ready to take advantage of the shift to EV,” Apte told BusinessLine.

However, Apte added that this shift to EVs is going to be gradual. As per BP, Castrol’s parent company estimates, even in 2040, more than 80 per cent of the vehicles on the road will continue to be internal combustion engine (ICE) globally, though EVs will continue to grow rapidly, he said.

Lubricating fluids

Rajesh Madathingal, Technology Head - Castrol India Ltd, said that Castrol lubricants will play a critical role as hybrid and EVs require fluid engineering for them to operate.

He said this necessitates the use of greases for electric motors, lubricating fluids for the complex transmissions required to link the multiple electric motors to drive the vehicle, and coolants to maintain performance of the battery, power electronics and motor.

While he did not comment on the investments that went into ensuring the BS-VI compliance, Apte said that it has invested a lot in BS-VI overall and that the company always invests heavily in technology that is ‘cutting edge’.

“Castrol India works closely with its global technology and R&D team to leverage (the) experience and expertise of the global team. For instance, we learned from the Euro 6 transition in Europe six-seven years ago. While we have had the experience of Euro 6, the duty cycles in India are more severe. While the basic technology solutions remain the same, we had to redesign to suit Indian traffic conditions of stop-start, non-uniform speed on highways and traffic jams,” said Madathingal.

While vehicles are going to be more expensive post the BS-VI transition, Apte said that it has undertaken pricing techniques to ensure that Castrol’s BS-VI products aren’t more expensive than the BS-IV products. The company is also planning to reach about 2,50,000 mechanics in the next 12-15 months to educate them about BS-VI and generate awareness about Castrol’s products.

Slowing auto industry

On the impact of the slowdown in the automobile industry, Apte said, “We are not deeply affected because we also have millions of vehicles on the road, and while the Indian auto industry has been under pressure for the last one year or so, overall, the macro trend has been good.”

Castrol has a market share of around 19 per cent in automotive lubricants in India, as per a Nielsen research.

Published on July 24, 2019

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