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Source: BMW Group Munich. Racing eDrive01 – this is the name of the highly efficient drive unit that forms the heart of the success of BMW i Andretti Motorsport in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. It drives the BMW iFE.18 racing car with its drivers António Félix da Costa (POR) and Alexander Sims (GBR) in the first season of the official BMW factory team in the series for all-electric formula vehicles to peak performances and top results. Félix da Costa won the first race in Ad Diriyah (KSA) in December 2018. With him, the engineers of BMW i were allowed to feel as a winner, who are otherwise responsible for the drive of production models such as the BMW i3. Her experience in electrification proved to be a decisive advantage on the racetrack. BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt says: “At the beginning of the development process for the electric drive in Formula E, we were faced with the question: are we building our own BMW Motorsport capacities or are we taking advantage of BMW i’s many years of experience in this area? The answer was quickly found. Of course, it made sense to take advantage of the huge know-how of our series colleagues. “

What followed is a prime example of gearing between serial and racing development. Under the umbrella of BMW i Motorsport, a completely new development cycle was set up, always with the aim of using capacities as efficiently as possible and creating the best possible synergies. The responsibilities are clearly distributed. The specialists from the series take care of the hardware of the electric motor and the inverter – and thus the entire high-voltage range, including the software that controls the electric motor from the inverter and the materials used, such as rotor or stator.

The engineers at BMW Motorsport, meanwhile, are mainly dedicated to the low-voltage control area. They developed recuperation strategies, took over the packing of the entire rear axle structure and developed the cooling concept. “In a very transparent way, all the things that each area does best are interlinked. The technology transfer between our BMW Motorsport engineers and the colleagues at BMW i works very well, “says Marquardt.

This creates a cycle of know-how and experience in the future field of electrification, which only brings benefits to both sides. Under the extreme conditions on the Formula E circuits – and in direct competition with many other car manufacturers – the BMW i Motorsport gathers insights that are then reintegrated into the development. “Every BMW i customer,” says Marquardt, “benefits from our joint advances in racing.” One example: The control software in the high-voltage range, which controls the electric motor after the inverter, comes just as much in the BMW iFE.18 as in the BMW i3 used.

Sporty, this unique combination in Formula E has demonstrated competitiveness from the first race. In addition to the track, the BMW Group is demonstrating its innovative competence in important future topics in the automotive industry as part of this ever-growing racing series. Electrification is the basis, but other focal topics such as automated driving, connectivity and services – in combination with groundbreaking design such as the BMW i8 Roadster Safety Car – are at the center of every race. Thus, Formula E becomes a symbol for the consistent future orientation of BMW i, BMW Motorsport and the BMW Group as a whole.

The BMW i vehicle fleet: BMW i has been part of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship as an “Official Vehicle Partner” since the very beginning and will also provide the Safety Car fleet in Season 5. At the top are two safety cars: the specially modified BMW i8 Roadster Safety Car (combined fuel consumption: 2.0 l / 100 km, combined power consumption: 14.5 kWh / 100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 46 g / km) * and the continued use of the BMW i8 Coupé Safety Car (fuel consumption combined: 1.8 l / 100 km, combined power consumption: 14.0 kWh / 100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 42 g / km) *. In addition, the BMW i3s (combined fuel consumption: 0.0 l / 100 km, combined power consumption: 14.3 kWh, combined CO2 emissions: 0 g / km) * as the “Race Director Car” and the BMW 530e (combined fuel consumption: 2.2-2.1 l / 100 km, combined power consumption: 13.6-13.3 kWh / 100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 49-47 g / km) * in its function as “Medical Car” to the BMW i vehicle fleet for the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

The data on fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and electricity consumption are determined in accordance with the prescribed measurement procedure VO (EU) 2007/715, as amended. The figures refer to a vehicle in basic equipment in Germany, the widths consider differences in the selected wheel and tire size and the optional optional extras. The information is already based on the new WLTP test cycle and calculated back to NEDC for comparability. These vehicles may have different values than those given here for the purposes of taxation and other vehicle related levies which (also) affect CO2 emissions. State 06.12.2018Learn more about official fuel consumption and official specific CO2 emissions of new passenger cars can be found in the ‘Guide to Fuel Consumption, CO2 Emissions and Electricity Consumption of New Passenger Cars’, which can be found at all outlets, at Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH (DAT), Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen, and is available free of charge at

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should be the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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