Schaeffler and Audi have on an extensive cooperation in the development of the powertrain for the next three generations of the Formula E race car. Schaeffler Chief Technology Officer Prof. Peter Gutzmer and Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development AUDI AG, signed a three-year agreement—up to and including the 2019/2020 season—in Berlin-Tempelhof during the home round of Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport in Berlin.
Schaeffler has been involved in the innovative electric racing series from the beginning—designing, developing and building the powertrain for the only German Formula E race car in partnership with Team ABT since the 2015/2016 season. Audi AG entered the series with a factory-backed commitment as of the fourth season beginning in fall of 2017 (earlier post). Their partnership will include joint work on the electric motor, suspension and power electronics for the powertrain.
The basic concept for the next-generation powertrain of the Formula E race car has been finalized and some of its components are already being tested. Behind the scenes, Schaeffler and Audi have been working together in Formula E in some areas before. Now, the official signing of the agreement elevates this existing active partnership to a higher level with a long-term focus.
Aside from their freshly sealed cooperation in Formula E, Schaeffler and Audi have been partners in the DTM since 2007 – in 2011 (Martin Tomczyk) and 2013 (Schaeffler ambassador Mike Rockenfeller), the DTM Champions drove a green-yellow Schaeffler Audi.
As its third major motorsport pillar, Schaeffler has a commitment in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) high-tech racing series with Audi’s sister brand Porsche. The WEC—similar to Formula E—features forward-thinking motorsport subject to regulations focused on energy efficiency.
Schaeffler’s research and development departments have been active in electromobility for two decades. In the more recent past, the development team dedicated to components for electric vehicles has doubled in size and has direct access to know-how from the race track for its projects.
Schaeffler by now is offering a wide range of products for electrifying the entire powertrain, from starter-generators, to 48-volt systems through to wheel hub motors and E-axles.
In addition, Schaeffler is developing electric vehicle concepts below the level of the automobile for mobility of for tomorrow. They include the Bio-Hybrid—a four-wheel Pedelec with weather protection—and the E-Board for urban areas.
The Formula E commitment helps us gain a better understanding of the electric mobility environment and systems.—Prof. Peter Gutzmer