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We are exploring options with two-wheeler EV manufacturers for development of EV fluids — Sandeep Sangwan, Castrol India

Jacob Scott

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To understand the role of lubricants in EVs, we speak to Sandeep Sangwan, the Managing Director of Castrol India Limited to understand how lubricants still play an important role although EVs do not have moving engine components, how Castrol is reducing its carbon footprint, and its expansion plans.

Lubricants play an important role in reducing friction within the engine, amongst the moving parts. A typical Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) has numerous moving parts, and if lubricating oils are low, or lose viscosity, it can cause permanent damage. This leads to constant innovation amongst lubrication manufacturers

However, with carmakers pushing for Electric Vehicles (EVs), the number of moving parts in vehicles have reduced, and the kind of lubricants necessary has changed. Although some components from ICEs remain, a lot has changed for other components. To know more, we spoke to Sandeep Sangwan, the Managing Director of Castrol India Limited. 

How can oil and lubrication play a role in EVs, since they don’t need engine oil?

Even though electric vehicles don’t require lubricants in the form of engine oil, they require EV fluids in the form of transmission fluids, greases, and coolants. Several global automotive manufacturers use Castrol’s EV fluids as part of their factory fills for their EVs. In India, Castrol is currently the sole EV fluid supplier for Tata Motors and MG Motors. Being the market leader for lubricants in India, besides the four-wheeler/cars category, we are exploring options with two-wheeler electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers for the development of EV fluids. 

What kind of lubrication products does Castrol currently supply for EVs?

Castrol offers ‘Castrol On’, an EV Fluid brand launched by Castrol for electric vehicles, comprising of e-transmission fluids, e-coolants and e-greases which help in enhancing the drivetrain of electric vehicles and for thermal management of batteries which enables ultra-fast charging that helps EVs go further on a single charge, thereby enhancing efficiency.

What are some of the steps the oil industry, especially Castrol, has taken to reduce its carbon footprint? 

In June 2020, bp announced its Reinvent strategy and shared its aim to transform itself from an international oil company to an integrated energy company. As part of its strategy, bp has set itself an ambitious goal to achieve Net Zero by 2050 or earlier. In March 2021, Castrol announced its global Path 360º strategy to help deliver a more sustainable future. The strategy sets out aims for 2030 to save waste, reduce carbon footprint in production and operations and improve lives. 

Castrol India conducted an energy audit, to identify opportunities to reduce energy including options to switch to renewable & solar energy solutions to power its plant operations and supply chain. 

At Castrol plants across India, we have successfully commercialized a new blending process for select product variants. This will enable us to reduce our overall energy consumption and reduce our carbon emissions in line with our global Path 360º sustainability goals.

To reduce plastic consumption in our packaging, our India and global teams worked together to change the shape, size and look of our lubricant packs. The new packs are optimised to be stronger, lighter and easier to transport. Overall, we have been able to reduce our plastic consumption by up to 20% and lower our environmental footprint. 

At the raw material level, we are looking at reducing the carbon intensity of Castrol products by sourcing base oils from suppliers who have reduced carbon constituents in their products.  

What are Castrol’s future plans in terms of expansion?

Our priority lies in driving profitable growth through the personal mobility segment. We continued to invest heavily in our key brands through innovations in products and how we communicate our product USP’s to our consumers. 

In addition to providing quality Castrol products in retail or Bazaar trade, we are also expanding our reach in independent auto workshops to serve consumers and customers in this segment. Parallelly, we are collaborating with ki Mobility Solutions to exclusively supply Castrol lubricants for their multi-brand workshops. 

Jio-bp, a joint venture between bp and Reliance Industries has also provided an opportunity for Castrol to offer its premium products in fuel courts across India with our supply agreement with Jio-bp. In October 2021, we inaugurated India’s first Jio-bp fuel court near Navi Mumbai which redefines convenience and mobility. This partnership brings together our (Reliance and bp) best offers and represents several firsts for Indian customers – including the launch of Wild Bean Café and a new Castrol Express Oil Change service, which pioneers the concept of a swift and speedy oil change for consumers on the go. This will go a long way in providing a convenient and reliable service & brand experience for our customers.

How has the last year and a half been (during the pandemic and lockdown) for Castrol and how did the company tackle this?

In March 2020, the pandemic brought mobility and transport across the world to an abrupt halt, massively impacting demand. At Castrol, we resumed manufacturing operations at the earliest following the utmost health and safety precautions for our people, our suppliers, distributors, and our communities. Safety has always been core to Castrol’s operations, which translated into employees strictly following safety protocols to ensure business continuity and smooth supply chain operations.

We experienced a considerable dip in revenues in the second quarter of 2020 (we report the January to December financial year), however, we bounced back over the next quarters. In the third quarter of 2021, Castrol India Limited reported strong financial performance and resilient business growth maintaining the momentum built over the previous two quarters in 2021. We also delivered a robust top-line and bottom-line growth in the nine months ended September 30, 2021, versus 2020. 

Our 3Q 2021 net sales grew by 22% compared to 3Q 2020. The cost of goods sold continued to be very challenging due to a sharp rise in input costs. We responded through timely pricing interventions and continued investment in our brands’ advertising and marketing spending to support value delivery to customers and reinforce brand salience. These measures helped us navigate the dynamic market situation.

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‘Moon Knight’ Took Marvel in a Different Orbit, but It Didn’t Rise to the Occasion

Jacob Scott

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Before anyone writes that off as an anomaly, “Eternals” tackled a similar introduction of a dense mythology on the bigger screen, with equally mixed results. It’s a reminder that while film-goers have had more than a decade to get to know characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, introducing some of these lesser-known heroes can pose a more formidable challenge beyond catering to the most ardent fans.
For Marvel, there are warning signs in that, since “Moon Knight” will be followed by several series based on second-tier characters, although the next two on the horizon, “Ms. Marvel” (which is due in June) and “She-Hulk,” at least have the benefit of sharing franchises and name recognition with existing Avengers.
Ultimately, “Moon Knight’s” murky storytelling appeared to squander its principal assets, which included the cool look of the character — a costume that was too seldom used — and the presence of Isaac, who possesses additional genre credentials via the “Star Wars” sequels.

Taking its time in peeling back the layers of the character’s complicated backstory, “Moon Knight” took a weird plunge into the Egyptian mythology behind it, in ways that became increasingly confounding and surreal.

By the time the protagonist’s two halves, Steven Grant and Marc Spector, wound up in a psychiatric hospital talking to an anthropomorphic hippo in the penultimate chapter, the question wasn’t so much being able to keep up with the story as whether bothering to do so was worth the effort.

The sixth and final episode brought the plot to a messy close, seeking to stop the goddess Ammit from proceeding to “purify the souls of Cairo, and then the world.” In the customary credit sequence, the producers capped that off by introducing a third personality, Jake Lockley, also rooted in the comics. While that seemingly spelled the end for the show’s villain (Ethan Hawke), the finish — giving the god Khonshu the protégé he sought — paved the way for further adventures should Marvel so choose.

That last twist might be cause for celebration in narrower confines of the Marvel fan universe, but “Moon Knight” too often felt like it was one long Easter-egg sequence, conspicuously preaching to that choir.

Granted, Marvel has made clear that Disney+ offers the chance to explore different kinds of stories, but “Moon Knight” feels at best like a quirky showcase for Isaac and at worst a failed experiment in terms of execution and tone.

That doesn’t mean this “Moon” won’t somehow rise again, if the closely held streaming data justifies it. But the promise that surrounded this property has faded, providing further evidence that even Marvel isn’t immune from setbacks as it moves into its next phase.

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Start-up Pony.ai says it’s the first self-driving company to get a taxi license in China

Jacob Scott

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Autonomous driving start-up Pony.ai can collect fares for robotaxi rides in parts of two major Chinese cities as of Sunday.

Pony.ai handout

BEIJING — Self-driving start-up Pony.ai announced Sunday it received a taxi license, the first of its kind in China.

The license allows Pony.ai to operate 100 self-driving cars as traditional taxis in the Nansha district of the southern city of Guangzhou, the company said.

The Chinese start-up, which is backed by Toyota, received approval from Beijing city late last year to charge fees to operate a commercial robotaxi business in a suburban district of the city. It is not the same as a taxi licence.

Baidu’s Apollo Go also received approval in the same Beijing district last year.

Pony.ai was valued at $8.5 billion in early March. The company said its Nansha taxi license required 24 months of autonomous driving testing in China and/or other countries, and no involvement in any active liability traffic accidents, among other factors.

The start-up said it plans to launch commercial robotaxi businesses in two other large Chinese cities next year. The company is already testing self-driving cars in those cities and in California. 

Robotaxis in China currently have a human driver present for safety.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

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How to watch Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies: TV channel, NBA live stream info, start time

Jacob Scott

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Who’s Playing

Memphis @ Minnesota

Current Records: Memphis 2-1; Minnesota 1-2

What to Know

The Memphis Grizzlies’ road trip will continue as they head to Target Center at 10 p.m. ET this past Saturday to face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis will be strutting in after a win while Minnesota will be stumbling in from a loss.

The Grizzlies are hoping for another victory. They beat the Timberwolves 104-95 this past Thursday. The victory came about thanks to a strong surge after the first quarter to overcome a 39-21 deficit. Memphis’ success was spearheaded by the efforts of power forward Brandon Clarke, who had 20 points in addition to eight rebounds, and shooting guard Desmond Bane, who shot 7-for-15 from beyond the arc and finished with 26 points and six boards.

Barring any buzzer beaters, Memphis is expected to win a tight contest. They might be worth taking a chance on against the spread as they are currently on a two-game streak of ATS wins.

Memphis’ win brought them up to 2-1 while the Timberwolves’ defeat pulled them down to a reciprocal 1-2. A couple offensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: The Grizzlies come into the game boasting the second most points per game in the league at 115.6. But Minnesota is even better: they rank first in the league when it comes to points per game, with 115.9 on average. Tune in for what’s sure to be a high-scoring contest.

How To Watch

When: Saturday at 10 p.m. ET Where: Target Center — Minneapolis, Minnesota TV: ESPN Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.) Follow: CBS Sports App Ticket Cost: $76.96

Odds

The Grizzlies are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Timberwolves, according to the latest NBA odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Grizzlies as a 3-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

See NBA picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Memphis have won 19 out of their last 28 games against Minnesota.

Apr 21, 2022 – Memphis 104 vs. Minnesota 95 Apr 19, 2022 – Memphis 124 vs. Minnesota 96 Apr 16, 2022 – Minnesota 130 vs. Memphis 117 Feb 24, 2022 – Minnesota 119 vs. Memphis 114 Jan 13, 2022 – Memphis 116 vs. Minnesota 108 Nov 20, 2021 – Minnesota 138 vs. Memphis 95 Nov 08, 2021 – Memphis 125 vs. Minnesota 118 May 05, 2021 – Memphis 139 vs. Minnesota 135 Apr 02, 2021 – Memphis 120 vs. Minnesota 108 Jan 13, 2021 – Memphis 118 vs. Minnesota 107 Jan 07, 2020 – Memphis 119 vs. Minnesota 112 Dec 01, 2019 – Memphis 115 vs. Minnesota 107 Nov 06, 2019 – Memphis 137 vs. Minnesota 121 Mar 23, 2019 – Minnesota 112 vs. Memphis 99 Feb 05, 2019 – Memphis 108 vs. Minnesota 106 Jan 30, 2019 – Minnesota 99 vs. Memphis 97 Nov 18, 2018 – Memphis 100 vs. Minnesota 87 Apr 09, 2018 – Minnesota 113 vs. Memphis 94 Mar 26, 2018 – Memphis 101 vs. Minnesota 93 Dec 04, 2017 – Memphis 95 vs. Minnesota 92 Feb 04, 2017 – Memphis 107 vs. Minnesota 99 Nov 19, 2016 – Memphis 93 vs. Minnesota 71 Nov 01, 2016 – Minnesota 116 vs. Memphis 80 Oct 26, 2016 – Memphis 102 vs. Minnesota 98 Mar 16, 2016 – Minnesota 114 vs. Memphis 108 Feb 19, 2016 – Memphis 109 vs. Minnesota 104 Jan 23, 2016 – Minnesota 106 vs. Memphis 101 Nov 15, 2015 – Memphis 114 vs. Minnesota 106

Injury Report for Minnesota

No Injury Information

Injury Report for Memphis

Dillon Brooks: Game-Time Decision (Foot) Santi Aldama: Out (Knee) Killian Tillie: Out (Knee)

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