ZF electric driveline to debut in Formula E

ZF has developed an electric driveline for Venturi that includes an electric motor as well as newly developed transmission and power electronics for the fifth season of FIA Formula E. The technology partnership between ZF and Venturi was formed in 2016. The ZF driveline satisfies the upgraded requirements with greater efficiency, lower weight, and even better performance data.

The world’s first racing series for all-electric Formula vehicles is growing steadily in popularity. Following in the footsteps of manufacturers like Audi, Jaguar and Mahindra, the fifth season will see BMW and Nissan joining the series with factory teams. Mercedes and Porsche are planning a factory-backed entry in season six.

The Gen2 car will celebrate its debut on the track with double the battery energy storage capacity of its predecessor, the Gen1 car. The Gen2 car has increased power output of 250 kW, accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds and has a top speed of 280 km/h. Venturi will be sending former Formula 1 drivers Felipe Massa (BR) and Edoardo Mortara (SUI) on the hunt for points this year. The German HWA Racelab team will enter the Formula E as a Venturi customer team and acquire its vehicles from Monaco-based Venturi. Accordingly, the electric ZF driveline will be in no less than four vehicles in the starting line-up for the new season.

“The speed of development in professional motorsports is extremely fast. Because the requirements for the overall system were unclear for such a long time, we had to make many short-term changes and build contingencies into our development work,” explains Tobias Hofmann, Technical Project Manager Electric Axle Drive Formula E. “In the end, our success hinged on good, Group-wide cooperation. In addition to the E-Mobility division, ZF Race Engineering and ZF Advanced Engineering also played key roles in the development of the driveline.”

As part of their partnership, ZF has supplied the Monaco-based Venturi team with shock absorbers for its cars and developed a new transmission for season four. Mid-December will mark the first time Venturi takes to the track with a complete newly developed driveline from ZF. In addition to an improved transmission, the driveline also includes newly developed power electronics and electric motor.

The inverter, also newly developed, is ZF’s first power electronics product with high-performance silicon-carbide modules. The casing for the inverter is made entirely of carbon fibre reinforced plastic. The intelligent control software is based on years of testing in volume production and has been specially adapted to the special demands of motorsports, the company said.

 

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