German and global technology company ZF Friedrichshafen is the new 'Official Powertrain Partner' of Mahindra Racing, one of the founding teams in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Together with Mahindra Racing, ZF has already started development of the electric driveline for the 2020/2021 season.
The first test bench tests and test drives of the newly developed driveline, which builds on the successful ZF development status of recent years, are currently being planned for the beginning of next year. In addition to the electric motor, development includes both a single-gear, highly efficient transmission and power electronics, which have been specifically designed for the application in motor sports.
Already in the sixth Formula E season, which starts in November, ZF will also support Mahindra Racing with chassis development expertise and provide the team with specially developed shock absorbers and engineering services.
The cooperation with Mahindra Racing also marks the end of the previous technology partnership with the Monegasque Venturi Formula E team. As of the 2019/2020 season, Venturi will go to the starting line as a customer team of the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E team. Together with Venturi, ZF was successful in the most recent season with ZF’s first electric driveline for Formula E and, in addition to being honored on the podium several times, was able to celebrate its first victory in the all-electric racing series in Hong Kong.
Commenting on the new cooperation with the Indian racing team, Wolf-Henning Scheider, CEO of ZF, said: “Formula E is a great stage for ZF to demonstrate the quality and performance of our drivetrain solutions for the e-mobility of tomorrow. In no other racing series is the transfer of expertise from motorsports to volume production development as great as in Formula E.”
For example, ZF introduced power electronics on a silicon carbide basis for the Formula E drivetrain, which will be used in volume production in the near future to increase the efficiency and range of electric drives.
“We look forward to a successful cooperation with Mahindra Racing, and also show our commitment to India as an important growth market. At the same time, we would like to extend our thanks to our previous partner Venturi for the cooperation characterized by trust over the past three years and wish the team all the best,” Scheider says.
Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal of Mahindra Racing, also finds the partnership compelling: “With ZF, we will have one of the most successful global players in the field of e-mobility at our side. We were highly impressed by the performance of the ZF driveline in the most recent Formula E season. Together we will be even better positioned to continue celebrating success and hopefully compete for the championship.”
Mahindra Racing has been part of the Formula E racing series since its inception, scoring four victories so far. Pascal Wehrlein of Germany and Jerome D’Ambrosio of Belgium are competing as drivers for the team.
The electrification of the driveline is an essential means for ZF to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions in road traffic. The technology company offers hybrid modules, plug-in hybrid transmissions, and electric drives for electric vehicles complete with power electronics and system integration.
Since January 2016, ZF has been bundling its e-mobility activities in the E-Mobility division. This is where customer inquiries on various electric mobility topics are processed and the Group’s expertise is consolidated. Some 9,000 employees work for ZF in the area of electric mobility at various locations around the world.