With a showcase themed “Making Mobility Sustainable and Autonomous”, the Schaeffler Group is using the IAA 2019 motor show in Frankfurt to present its vision of innovation-led sustainable mobility.
“We see the current mobility transformation as an opportunity to use our expertise in drivetrain and chassis technology to innovatively shape tomorrow’s sustainable mobility sector,” said Schaeffler AG Chief Executive Officer Klaus Rosenfeld. The company is using its IAA showcase to present its integrated perspective on the entire mobility-sector energy chain and profile its innovative system solutions.
Among the highlights is the first-ever public showing of the company’s own Schaeffler electric motors, which have been developed in a range of output classes and are now going into large-volume production. Other highlights include dedicated hybrid transmission systems, the Schaeffler Intelligent Corner Module with its 90-degree steering angle, drive-by-wire as a key enabling technology for self-driving cars and the Schaeffler Mover as a new mobility concept for urban spaces.
As an integrated automotive and industrial supplier, Schaeffler views the energy chain as a whole, which is why it is also able to offer system and product solutions for renewable energy generation, for example. “To be sustainable, you have to look at the entire energy chain. Simply shifting emissions from one point in the chain to another has no impact on the overall CO2 balance,” Rosenfeld said.
Noting the need for electricity storage technologies to even out the fluctuating availability of renewable energy sources, he pointed to the growing importance of alternatives like hydrogen. In its initial advance development work on fuel cell components, Schaeffler is leveraging its traditional core expertise in materials technology, material forming and surface technology. The company’s main strength here is that it is strongly diversified in the industrial and automotive sectors and is thus involved at every point in the energy chain, from the generation of energy through to its use in vehicles.
One highly promising approach to reducing CO2 emissions is drivetrain electrification. At the IAA, Schaeffler is demonstrating how it is supporting automakers in their electric mobility journey with its extensive portfolio of electrification technologies. “We have products for all options along the electrification spectrum, from mild hybridization to full hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrids, right through to high-performance electric motors for pure electric vehicles,” explained Schaeffler’s CEO Automotive OEM Matthias Zink.
Schaeffler is now commencing final-stage development and volume production of electric motors in voltage classes ranging from 48 to 800 V and with outputs ranging from 15 to 300 kW. In 2021, for example, it will start production of an electric motor for several models of electric vehicle made by a leading European auto manufacturer. In terms of hybridisation, the company is concentrating on dedicated hybrid transmission (DHT), a technology in which the electric motor and transmission are so fully integrated that they form a single physical and functional unit.
Another factor shaping tomorrow’s mobility, alongside climate targets, is urbanisation. At the IAA, Schaeffler is addressing this challenge with the latest version of the Schaeffler Mover, a self-driving and highly adaptable development platform that brings together a whole host of new Schaeffler technologies. At the heart of this new concept vehicle is a rolling chassis system featuring Space Drive drive-by-wire technology, which Schaeffler sees as a key enabler of self-driving cars.
The chassis comprises four Schaeffler Intelligent Corner Modules – four wheel hubs in which all drive and suspension components are integrated into a single, space-saving unit. This design means the platform can be scaled and adapted to accommodate a wide range of applications. The concept vehicle recently won the German Mobility Prize offered by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.