Mahle announces it is now an official series partner to DTM Electric. The German supplier will develop and supply the thermal management components for use in the race cars and says it may also incorporate its new immersion cooling technology, which makes it possible to charge batteries in just a few minutes.
Mahle is joining partners such as Schaeffler ahead of the series kick-off scheduled in 2023. The all-electric racing series planned to run alongside the classic DTM races aims to use standard technology in all vehicles. The racers will then have sprint races of 30 minutes with the possibility of automated battery changes during mandatory pit stops.
Cue in Mahle. The supplier in September presented a new type of battery cooling that the company says enables faster charging of electric cars by relying on immersion cooling as a key technology. It involves a non-conductive coolant that washes the battery cells directly. Current dominant systems for battery cooling see the coolant flow through special channels or plates between the cells.
Mahle now hopes to fit said new thermal management components in DTM Electric race cars. Apart from battery cooling, this will also apply to traction motors, transmissions, and power electronics, although Mahle did not go into detail here.
As another technology partner to DTM Electric, Schaeffler signs responsible for delivering the cars. Prototypes presented at Hockenheim Ring in 2020 generated almost 1,200 hp with 800 kW. That is virtually twice as much power as the current DTM cars (over 450 kW), informs the supplier. In comparison, Formula E racing cars are limited to 200 kW in qualifying and 250 kW with the ‘fan boost’ during racing.
At the same time, with the cars being build with series components only, participants won’t have the opportunity to test innovative technology, a feature that Formula E had introduced gradually. As a result, many established manufacturers had made the switch to electric racing, a factor DTM Electric has criticised. “I’ve always said that Formula E is justified as a marketing platform and that I can understand why many companies are getting involved,” said Gerhard Berger, head of promoter ITR, when introducing the series in November 2020. “My criticism was directed at the sport itself because I think cars are too slow and the driving style too strongly characterised by strategy and energy management.” Berger expects “spectacular wheel-to-wheel racing” from the DTM Electric concept, as these are “powerful driving machines”.
Both Schaeffler and Mahle have been active in motorsport for many years. DTM Electric aims to start in 2023.
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