Precision bearings and automotive engine components manufacturer, The Schaeffler Group, is continuing its drive towards greener automotive technologies with its hybrid demonstration vehicle, the Schaeffler Hybrid. Based on the Vauxhall Corsa, this fully operational hybrid vehicle is part of an advanced development project at Schaeffler that enables practical comparisons to be made of a number of different vehicle configurations and driving conditions.

As well as using a conventional ­volume-manufactured combustion engine, the Schaeffler Hybrid also incorporates a central electric motor and two wheel hub motors. The vehicle incorporates every Schaeffler brand, including INA, FAG, LuK, IDAM and AFT.

“Being able to demonstrate and compare the various concepts of conventional and electric or hybrid vehicles, as well as realistic testing, played a decisive role in implementing the Schaeffler Hybrid,” says Dr Peter Gutzmer, member of the executive management board responsible for technical development at The Schaeffler Group.

“Each of the elements can be switched on or off to simulate a wide range of different driving conditions. These options range from classic operation using a ­combustion engine, through to parallel hybrid or serial hybrid operation, or on an electric motor-only basis.”

The combustion engine can power the vehicle and be coupled for use as a range extender. An automated manual transmission increases the options available. The ­transmission incorporates Schaeffler’s LuK clutch products, which are matched to the requirements of hybrid vehicles. The energy store, a 16kWh lithium-ion battery (400V, 400A), is charged using energy recovery methods, via a range extender and an external power supply.

“Another important aspect is the cross-functional development activities of the Schaeffler brands, including INA, LuK, FAG, IDAM and AFT products,” says Gutzmer.

The Schaeffler Hybrid will not go into volume production but serves as a vehicle of ideas. Gutzmer says: “We want to demonstrate that the Schaeffler Group takes a holistic approach to mobility and offers innovative products for e-mobility solutions in its portfolio.”