Schaeffler and ABT agree deal to electrify light commercial vehicles

17.12.19

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  • New Schaeffler and ABT chapter begins with electrification of Volkswagen light commercial vehicles (LCVs)
  • Schaeffler Engineering already develops electronic control systems for ABT e-Line-converted VW LCVs
  • Schaeffler AG CEO, Klaus Rosenfeld: “The combination of ABT’s entrepreneurial approach and Schaeffler’s understanding of systems and in-depth expertise of powertrains and chassis’, puts us in a perfect position.”
The Schaeffler Group and ABT e-Line will collaborate to electrify light commercial vehicles (LCVs) weighing up to 3.5 tons.

The Schaeffler Group and ABT Group have enjoyed a winning partnership in Formula E, winning two championships and notching up 12 wins and 41 podiums since the series began in 2014, with the relationship now extending to electric LCVs.

ABT e-Line is a subsidiary of ABT Holding, which is a partner to Volkswagen (VW) Commercial Vehicles. As such, ABT e-Line has been tasked with electrifying vehicles, such as the T6 and Caddy, and it has been agreed that Schaeffler will develop the electric powertrain.
Its wealth of expertise in purchasing, manufacturing and quality assurance, combined with the fact Schaeffler Engineering already develops electronic control systems for ABT e-Line-converted VW LCVs, will be pivotal to the new venture.

The long-term objective for both the Schaeffler Group and ABT Group is to develop more-advanced electric powertrains and integrate them into vehicles, focusing on both LCVs and special vehicles. In addition, both want to evolve flexible mechatronic chassis solutions.
The Schaeffler Group is confident of further orders and volume increases in small and medium-sized production within both the commercial vehicle and special vehicle sectors.

Efforts to reduce emissions
In cities and towns, where vehicle emissions are being monitored and actions are being taken to reduce them, LCVs are being heavily targeted. What’s more, vehicle manufacturers are now obliged to fulfil their mandatory upper limits for emissions in the LCV sectors separately, as it is not possible to offset emission values against those of passenger car fleets. Today, though, the performance of electric motors can largely fulfil those requirements.

With the rapidly-increasing demand for cleaner, more efficient and economical mobility in metropolitan towns, there is an onus on Schaeffler and ABT e-Line to deliver both in the short and long-term.

Schaeffler AG CEO, Klaus Rosenfeld, said: “Following on from our trusting and successful partnership with the ABT Group in Formula E, we have decided to work together in tackling the challenges of CV electrification.

“The combination of ABT’s entrepreneurial approach and Schaeffler’s understanding of systems and in-depth expertise in-field of powertrain and chassis applications put us in a perfect position to create something new and to move forward even faster.”
ABT Sportsline GmbH CEO, Hans-Jürgen Abt, added: “Schaeffler and ABT have been collaborating for several years, in a partnership shaped by trust, great passion, a strong pioneering spirit and the utmost professionalism – and that is what we are bringing to this project.

“The relationship with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles which started 18 months ago is an ambitious project for ABT, and I am proud of the fact that we will soon be seeing the first electrified ABT vehicles on the road.
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“Having Schaeffler as a strategic partner and, thus, having its technological expertise on-board means we have a strong partnership to tackle the challenges of electrification.”