US oil major uses motorsport and Indian academics as platforms for low-emission product development.
In two recent announcements, ExxonMobil has revealed its strong appetite for developing low-emissions lubricants technology. Firstly, it is expanding research into this area, based on initial work with a number of Indian universities. The company has signed new five-year agreements with the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras and Bombay, set to focus on biofuels, gas conversion and reduction in emissions across the industrial sector.
The programme is part of a wider global initiative, involving more than 80 universities, energy centres and private sector partners. According to the company, $10bn has already been spent since 2000 in development and delivery of lower-emissions energy solutions. According to Vijay Swarup, vice president of research and development at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company: “These agreements will give us a better understanding of how to progress and apply technologies in India, and develop breakthrough lower-emissions solutions that can make a difference globally.”
The second announcement ties ExxonMobil to German luxury carmaker, Porsche, for the 2019-20 season of the all-electric Formula E motorsport series - ExxonMobil's first forray into electric motorsport. With the first race taking place in Saudi Arabia at the end of 2019, the partnership will see the Porsches using Mobil-branded specialised powertrain fluids. The lubricants used are designed to maximise electrical conductivity, cooling and material compatibility.
Commenting on the relationship, Russ Green, ExxonMobil's vice president of finished products said: "As Porsche begins to compete and demonstrate the capabilities of its electric vehicle technology, ExxonMobil is engineering a full suite of Mobil-branded lubricants to help the new Porsche Formula E team build on its legacy of racing success around the world. Motorsport provides the ultimate proving ground to continue to develop high-performance lubricants and fluids."
The deal is the latest in an number of ExxonMobil motorsport tie-ups with Porsche, from endurance championships to privateer racing around the world.