ZF Friedrichshafen, Roborace, Kawasaki, Penn State.
ZF joins Formula E: Automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen is now on board as Venturi’s official technical partner for season three of the racing series. The goal is to jointly develop a new drivetrain, which will hit the track in 2018/19 – the Formula E’s fifth season.
No race driver needed: Roborace has presented the prototype of its first self-driving race car, called DevBot. It will enter in driverless races as part of the next season of the Formula E, which will use the same track as the racing series. The goal is to show what autonomous technology can do.
theverge.com, telegraph.co.uk, youtube.com (Video)
Kawasaki goes electric? Plans for an all-electric motorbike from Kawasaki have appeared online, according to which the manufacture wants to use an oil-cooling system. Unfortunately, technical details as well as a possible release date are still unknown.
The future of EV batteries: Researchers form the Pennsylvania State University say they have found the “ideal energy storage material” for electric car batteries. It allows a higher energy density and does not show any attrition after 30,000 charging cycles at high temperatures. The key is said to be the material’s three-dimensional, sandwich like structure.
Oerlikon Fairfield, ZF Friedrichshafen, Accell Group, Lawless Industries.
Off-highway hybrid: A new drivetrain from Oerlikon Fairfield is said to save 30% fuel and will be introduced in March. Initially, the hybrid system was developed to power a wheel loader but the company says it may be used in other off-highway applications as well.
New test centre: German ZF Friedrichshafen announced plans for a new testing centre for transmissions in Friedrichshafen. The automotive supplier will merge departments of its current R&D Center to gain office space but will also build a new building to house workshops, labs and test benches.
New e-bike middle motor: Dutch Accell Group will extend its own e-bike drive system ‘Ion’ to include a mid-motor. The system will be presented this autumn and follows predictions that pedelecs with middle motors will dominate in the future while demand for front hub drives is believed to decrease.
Electric dragster: The SR-37 now features a 1.5 megawatt electric drive system fitted by ‘Lawless Industries’ from Poland. The custom-built General Electric motor has been tuned to be strong enough for the 200 mph+, 6-second drag race over 1/4 mile.