Electric powered cars are a hot topic in the Australian motoring industry, with an electric highway on the cards for drivers in Western Australia . But this innovative technology has also crossed over to Formula racing. The world’s first fully electric racing series is back for another season in Beijing, China in the next few weeks.
Previously, all the teams were still competing with standard-specification cars, but the development a new powertrain has been allowed for the 2015/2016 season. Its core element is the electric motor named ‘ABT Schaeffler MGU 01.’
The project was focused on achieving the best possible efficiency, high reliability and optimal thermal management due to modified cooling.
Prof.Peter Gutzmer, Chief of Technology is responsible for the developments at Schaeffler, and he was faced with a tight schedule to get the new core ready for the next season.
‘The first meetings took place about ten months ago and, only half a year later, the first parts were produced. The timing is tight, as always in motorsports, but we’re on schedule’ he says.
‘Our motor has better torque and better efficiency than its predecessor’.
Schaeffler has also developed a new transmission that is coordinated with the motor and was produced by the company’s renowned partner Hewland according to special specifications.
It is stiffer and more compact. To achieve the goal of minimising the number of shifting events per lap, the engineers opted for a three-speed variant. The suspension has been optimised as well, now featuring higher stiffness and improved kinematics. The connecting link between all the elements is the newly developed software that manages the interaction between all the components. The perfection of its functionality has been one of the focal aspects of the tests.
‘For us, it was clear from the beginning that we wouldn’t do anything by halves. That’s why we looked at all the areas released by the regulations and developed optimised solutions of our own together with our partners,’ says Prof. Peter Gutzmer.
E-racing fans can catch this new technology on display come the 17th of October. The Formula E will then be embarking on a world tour of South and North America and Europe. The round in the heart of France’s capital Paris will be new on the calendar. The home round from Schaeffler’s perspective will be held in Berlin on May 21. For the finale, the 20 drivers will be meeting in London on the first weekend in July.
However, we’re wondering if Formula-E will ever be as popular with fans since its subtle, electric motor is without the heart racing sounds of a classic Formula 1 V6 engine.