TotalEnergies and Valeo have signed an agreement to develop what they describe as an innovative way of cooling electric vehicle batteries using a new, very high-performance ‘dielectric fluid’.

The companies say dielectric materials do not conduct electricity and therefore pose no safety risks. It is claimed that the innovation would not only improve the way electric vehicles are used, but it would also reduce their carbon footprint.

With current technology, fluids cannot be used to cool the battery from within. But TotalEnergies says it has developed a new dielectric coolant that can be in direct contact with battery cells.

Valeo says it will contribute its expertise in the related thermal systems to design and build the best solution to integrate the coolant within the electric vehicle battery pack, thereby optimizing performance by conditioning it at the right temperature.

Valeo also says research conducted under the agreement will enable Valeo to reduce the weight of the thermal systems used to cool vehicle batteries – greatly improving the overall weight, travel range and carbon footprint of electric vehicles – and improve safety in response to battery fire risk.

“The dielectric fluid developed by TotalEnergies rounds out our TotalEnergies QUARTZ EV Fluid range aimed at electric mobility. It is a unique and innovative solution that aims to contribute to the decarbonization of the electric mobility sector – one of the company’s strategic priorities. What’s more, the technological advantage our product offers in terms of safety, one of our core values, makes it even more unique,” said Philippe Charleux, Senior Vice President, Lubricants & Specialties at TotalEnergies. “We are very pleased to be partnering with Valeo, with whom we share the same ambitions of accelerating the development of sustainable mobility solutions and achieving carbon neutrality.”

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Francisco Moreno, President of Valeo’s Thermal Systems Business Group, said: “Helping to reduce the impact of mobility is central to Valeo’s strategy. Technologies that contribute to reducing CO2 emissions now account for 60% of Group sales, and Valeo plans to continue expanding its portfolio of solutions that promote low-carbon mobility. This research partnership with TotalEnergies is an opportunity to create an innovative solution that will further accelerate consumer take-up of electric vehicles.”

Valeo also says that as well as improving battery thermal management, the program is an opportunity to optimize electric powertrains in all areas where combining dielectric fluid with thermal systems can be beneficial.