As the exclusive technology partner of Team ABT Sportsline, Schaeffler is celebrating the Team’s first win in FIA Formula E, after Lucas di Grassi stole victory in the inaugural Formula E Evergrande Spring Beijing ePrix, which took place in Beijing, China on 13 September 2014.
The FIA Formula E series takes place in major cities around the globe using fully electric vehicles. ABT Sportsline is the only German team in an international field that includes teams from the USA, India, China and Europe. The former Formula One stars Alain Prost and Jarno Trulli have entered their own teams, as well as adventurer Richard Branson and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. More than 10 drivers have Formula One experience, including Brazilian Lucas di Grassi (30), who also competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Team ABT Sportsline’s second cockpit is occupied by German youngster Daniel Abt (21), who is also competing in GP2 as part of the Formula One supporting programme. Schaeffler logos are featured on the cars of both Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi.
Formula E events are not held on permanent race tracks but on street circuits in the heart of major cities. After Beijing, Formula E will visit Putrajaya (Malaysia), followed by Punta del Este (Uruguay), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Miami (USA), Long Beach (USA), Monaco, Berlin (Germany), culminating in London (UK) where the final will take place on 27 June 2015. At the events, practice, qualifying sessions and the race itself all take place over a single day.
Prof. Peter Gutzmer, Member of the Management Board for Technology at Schaeffler, comments: “Helping to shape the electrification of the automobile is one of our key strategic topics of the future. Schaeffler is an innovation leader in this field, frequently pioneering new ideas. Formula E is bold and visionary, which makes it a perfect fit for us and an ideal complement to our commitments in DTM, WEC and Formula Student. Motorsport is not only ideally suited to accelerating the further development of new technologies, but also energises the topic of electric mobility with emotions in a fascinating way.”
The collaboration with ABT Sportsline has a long-term focus and far exceeds a pure sponsoring arrangement. Gutzmer adds: “We’re supporting the further development of the racing car and its components in the future, supported by the knowledge and experience of our engineers at Schaeffler.”
Formula E challenges
Hans-Jürgen Abt, Managing Director of ABT Sportsline comments: “We’re delighted that in Schaeffler we have on board the perfect partner for the challenges we face in Formula E. From the company’s presence in DTM we’ve come to know the passion with which all the employees support motorsport.
“The collaboration in the field of technology is a very important aspect. Starting in the second season, the teams will be allowed to subject some of the vehicle’s components to further development – so a partner with such a wealth of engineering expertise and experience in electric mobility is obviously worth a mint.”
Schaeffler is a supplier to the automotive industry, as well as a manufacturer of rolling bearings worldwide. A development partner to the automotive industry with system expertise for the entire drive train, Schaeffler is continuously developing new lightweight, lower friction, more energy-efficient components and systems for vehicle engines, transmissions and chassis. This is helping to reduce vehicle weight, improve fuel consumption and minimise CO2 emissions.
Schaeffler is working with a number of major automotive manufacturers, both within and outside of the UK, to co-develop more energy-efficient systems for internal combustion engine-powered vehicles. These include UniAir, the world’s first fully variable hydraulic valve control system; a thermal management module for internal combustion engines that reduces CO2 emissions by up to 4 per cent; a lightweight spur gear differential that is 30 per cent lighter than its predecessor and creates up to 70 per cent free axial space in the gearbox; and low friction angular contact ball bearings for turbochargers, which are helping to set new performance benchmarks in high-end passenger cars, light duty and heavy duty trucks.
Schaeffler is also involved in the development of concepts and components for the next-generation of hybrid and all-electric vehicles. One of these, the eDifferential, is an active electric differential installed on the front and rear axles, which combines the electric drive with the option of wheel-selectable drive power control. This enables torque distribution between the right and left wheel, which enhances driving dynamics, safety and comfort.
Schaeffler also develops bearings, bottom brackets and other components for electric bicycles (e-bikes). These maintenance-free components offer longer operating life and smooth, lower friction operation, resulting in high efficiency and dynamics, as well as improved comfort.
For more information about Schaeffler and FIA Formula E, please go to www.schaeffler.co.uk.