Schaeffler starts mass production of electric motors
Schaeffler is now reaping the rewards of an early 2018 decision to create a specific business division for electric mobility. The start of multiple product mass production across all electrification levels is testimony to Schaeffler’s successful integration into the world of electric mobility and its status as a technology partner for evolving how the world moves.
“We have successfully transformed ourselves into a drive system supplier for sustainable electric mobility solutions and are now established as a reliable partner for our customers,” says Matthias Zink, CEO Automotive Technologies at Schaeffler AG.
What makes Schaeffler different is its know-how at both component and system level. “We have been involved in electric mobility for more than 20 years, so we understand the requirements of the drive train. Our innovation capacity as a global automotive and industrial supplier, plus our strong industrial skills, make us a preferred partner for our customers.”
Schaeffler has also progressively strengthened its electric mobility expertise over the last few years via a series of targeted acquisitions. The purchase of Elmotec Statomat at the end of 2018 added expertise in winding technology and provided Schaeffler with comprehensive coverage in all aspects of electric motor industrialization.
Another highly successful acquisition was the takeover of Compact Dynamics in 2016, a specialist in the development of innovative electric drive concepts. Meanwhile, the Schaeffler Paravan joint venture is developing the ‘Space Drive’ steer-by-wire system, a key technology needed for autonomous driving.
Mass production solutions across all levels of electrification
Schaeffler supplies technologies for all electrified drive trains. Electric axle transmissions have been successfully mass produced since 2017, providing optimum transmission ratios and power transfer from the electric motor to the wheels. This is a highly versatile component with a wide range of applications. For example, Schaeffler electric axle transmissions, with different structural designs, are used on both axles for all-wheel drive capability in the Audi e-tron. The Porsche Taycan is fitted with a high-efficiency Schaeffler coaxial electric axle transmission to provide the required transmission ratio on the front axle.
In 2020, the coaxial electric axle transmission earned Schaeffler the prestigious PACE Award, regarded by the industry worldwide as the hallmark for successful automotive projects. Schaeffler has also secured multiple orders for its complete “3-in-1 electric axles”, which combine the electric motor, drive unit and power electronics in a single system. These are high-performance electric axles with advanced power density.
Electric motors: Start of mass production
This year will see the start of the mass production of hybrid modules, hybrid drive units and all-electric axle transmissions. Schaeffler’s strong expertise in the areas of production and technology across all components of electric drive systems is key to the successful manufacture of technologically advanced products. As well as mass production orders for passenger car electric motors, Schaeffler is also servicing heavy-duty applications in the commercial vehicle segment. Schaeffler has announced a mass production order for electric motors featuring “wave winding” technology, which provides high power density as well as other installation advantages.
Record order for dedicated hybrid drives
As reported in 2020, Schaeffler has received a record order for dedicated hybrid drives. From 2024, Schaeffler will deliver a twin electric motor and transmission unit with integrated power electronics. A system power rating of 120 kW delivers sports-car like performance combined with low fuel consumption. “We are making excellent progress,” says Dr. Jochen Schröder, President of the E-Mobility business division. “Our modular product portfolio enables us to offer tailored mass-production solutions to meet any customer requirement,” Dr. Schröder continues. These successes in the E-Mobility business division reflect the company’s high standing as an automotive component, system and service supplier, as its comprehensive product portfolio illustrates.