Premiere for ZF Drivetrain with Mahindra Racing as the start of Formula E Season commences.
For the first time, a new drivetrain, co-engineered with Mahindra Racing, is taking off in Saudi Arabia on February 26. Start of the season with ZF supplying silicon carbide-based power electronics alongside the electric motor and transmission.
While developing a new electric drive for top motorsports is already a significant technical challenge, ZF engineers had to master another unusual defiance in 2020. During the past 18 months and due to the coronavirus pandemic, ZF and Mahindra Racing engineers co-developed an entirely new electric drivetrain for the current vehicle under challenging conditions. ZF has significant experience to date in Formula E, especially in terms of understanding weight and efficiency.
"The future of mobility is electric! Evidently also true for motorsports. As a major supplier of electric drive solutions, ZF faces competition for efficiency and speed in Formula E. We excel in both disciplines! On the racetrack and when developing new technologies",
says ZF CEO Wolf-Henning Scheider.
Mahindra Racing's drive and vehicle are ready for the seventh season in the world's first racing series for all-electric Formula vehicles. This year, it will be held for the very first time as FIA World Championships. Following the start of the season in Saudi Arabia, the provisional schedule includes six more races in Rome, Valencia, Marrakech, Monaco, and Santiago de Chile.
Mahindra Racing team principal said "Results from the last several months of testing are encouraging and it now comes down to the team and drivers to deliver the results we deserve at the opening races in Diriyah. What the project has so far shown is this is a truly unique and special partnership, built upon a mutual understanding of the importance of true collaboration, with Mahindra Racing and ZF engineers working side-by-side towards a common goal to deliver the very best performance and efficiency."
From racing to volume production
"ZF uses its experience of applying technology under harshest conditions in motorsports so to learn for its volume products," says Stephan von Schuckmann, who is responsible for the Electrified Powertrain Technology division on the ZF Board of Management. Thus, ZF's Formula E drivetrain relies on silicon carbide in its inverter. This semiconductor material is considered a promising alternative to the silicon that had been commonly used for far, as it allows for significantly higher efficiency at the very same performance level. Silicon carbide chips can increase the range of e-vehicles by up to seven percent. At the same time, high efficiency makes silicon carbide semiconductors ideally suited for 800 volts drive systems. Thus, they almost halve the charging time of an electric car, compared to the current 400 volts technology.
For ZF, electrification of the drive is key to reducing CO₂ emissions in road traffic. For electromobility, the ZF Group offers numerous hybrid modules, plug-in hybrid transmissions, and various electric drives for electric vehicles, including power electronics and system integration.
Mahindra Racing's latest award-winning net-zero carbon footprint underscores how clean and sustainable even motorsports can be - and it underpins why the company is the perfect ZF technology partner! Mahindra Racing is the first Formula E team to receive the "Net Zero Carbon Footprint" certificate (for the period since Formula E's inaugural season), and it was recognized for its carbon dioxide emission offsetting commitment by the ALLCOT Group.