On its visit to Berlin, Formula E is turning onto the finish straight in its inaugural season. While the motorsports fans are watching the drivers’ battle for the title with bated breath, Schaeffler is already working on the future of the world’s first racing series for fully electric open-wheel race cars behind the scenes. As the exclusive technology partner of Team ABT Sportsline the company is developing an electric motor of its own for the second season and will be shaping the entire powertrain system of the motor and transmission for the race car.
“Electric mobility as a whole, including hybrid solutions as well as electric driving, will determine mobility of the future in a very significant way,” says Chief Technology Officer Prof. Peter Gutzmer. “The Formula E commitment is ideally suited for being at the forefront here and serves as a model: we want our engineers to go to the limits and seek the challenge of competition – in production as well as in motorsports.”
Schaeffler supplies the complete electric motor and power electronics and the application is subsequently performed by ABT. “This is the interface. We will also be involved in designing the transmission. It will look different because it has to match the motor,” says Prof. Gutzmer. “His company is intensively involved in the testing stage as well: We’re going to jointly run all the tests and the integration of the components into the vehicle with ABT. This includes static trials, crash tests, endurance runs and of course the on-track tests.”
At the beginning of the year, Team ABT Sportsline was recognized by the FIA as one of eight manufacturers for Formula E and will be putting a race car of its own on the grid in the opening round of the new season.
“Schaeffler with its expertise and long-standing experience in electric mobility is the perfect partner for the challenges of the future,” says Team Director and CEO Hans-Jurgen Abt. “Our collaboration is intensive and passionate. We all have great aims in Formula E. I’m sure that we’re perfectly poised for them.”
The schedule before the first race that is expected to be held in October is tight. The first components will already be tested in the next few weeks. The homologation of the new car, following the mandatory crash tests, is scheduled for the middle of June before the first on-track tests are planned to be run in June as well.
“In motorsports, schedules are always at the limit as well. But our timeline has been established and we’re sure that we’ll be well set in the opening round of the second Formula E season,” says Prof. Gutzmer.