Schaeffler research at KIT We've thought of the future

We've thought of the future

36 months it takes today until a new model is ready for the road. But there are around mobility plenty of research fields, where it is thought of in much longer periods.

"We must be the case that CO2 is not a pollutant for us, but a commodity that can be generated from the fuel ," says Peter Gutzmer, President and chief researcher at the automotive supplier Schaeffler. Because of the climate-damaging emissions towards the usable raw material, however, is still a long way to go and accumulates a lot of research, the company has teamed up with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology ( KIT). There runs the basic research, then products can be from the later industrial processes and in the next step.

The involvement of business in the automotive industry with universities join together to come quickly to tangible results and the way to performance engineers, is not new. Also, Daimler, BMW, Audi, BASF or cooperate with the KIT. The Schaeffler approach to cooperation, however, goes further than the usual promotion of a chair or a project.

Together with the KIT has already in 2012 called "share" to life. The English term for parts in this case stands for " Schaeffler Hub for Automotive Research in E-Mobility " and designate a joint research facility on the campus in Karlsruhe. There are starting this year up to 50 developers, graduate students and student employees on e-mobility work, among others. " What we want to make findings of fundamental research of industrial application ," explains Professor Albert Albers, director of the Institute of Product Development at KIT, and therefore the first point of contact for Gutzmer.

Besides the already mentioned possibility of producing fuel from CO2, as it so Gutzmer, " has made ​​the earth with the help of solar energy and time in a natural way " to work specifically on new transmissions for hybrid vehicles and the lithium-air battery. This could " significantly after 2030 " on the basis of current knowledge be ready for series production and reduce the range limitation of electric vehicles well clear. Similar to the internal combustion engine is set in this air battery, oxygen from the air, respectively, as a reactant to produce energy, which need not be carried in the vehicle up.

However, substantially closer series are the ideas to the transmission technology that operates Schaeffler at KIT. Here it comes, for example, the integration of new, lightweight electric motors in the transmission and development of the associated control electronics. Ever is the networking of many electrical and electronic components, as they are now used far more in the car already and in the future, one of the major challenges for researchers. Transmissions are " partners of Electric Mobility" are hybridized, less friction and more and more spread and linked to the control electronics of engines, hybrid systems, and not least of navigation, in conjunction with their topographical data in choosing the correct translation. It goes so Gutzmer, "even to the ever shorter development steps in the software and the integration of new players". Google, Microsoft or Apple, to name the new players by name, have different developmental processes and speeds than the established manufacturers in the automotive industry. " It is also our job to think along these approaches in the development of new products ," says Albers.

There is one also to take into account the different requirements of mobility, as they represent the different world regions in the future and already partly. " An electric range of 50 kilometers, for example, is much less critical than in a normal European city for a plug-in hybrids in Shanghai ," said Albers. " More importantly, the question of how one hours an air-conditioned car operates electrically, but travels in this time in a metropolis only five kilometers, the " - electrical service life instead of reach and with fully cross-linked vehicle so. " So we have to think out of the drive in many other details of the vehicle new. For example, we are working on an air conditioning that if only one person in the vehicle is only cools or heats this space to flow from the battery to save ". And this release possible without CO2. For up from the greenhouse gas seriously a raw material for fuel on an industrial scale is, the terms of office of the two managers at Share likely to be around long.