Electric mobility picks up momentum
© Schaeffler
March 2022

Electric mobility picks up momentum

By Björn Carstens und Volker Paulun
Electric powertrain technologies are increasingly catching on. Availability and market share of electric cars are recording significant growth in nearly any vehicle class: a development that clearly affects globally active automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler as current statistics demonstrate.

The transformation of the automotive sector toward electric powertrains is picking up more and more momentum. Between January and September 2021, a total of 2.97 million battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were sold worldwide according to analyses by automotive business intelligence provider Jato Dynamics. As a result, the total number exceeded the prior-year level by 149 percent. This is all the more remarkable because the overall vehicle market grew merely by eleven percent during the same period, so the electric car is an outperformer as analysts like to put it.

The market share of BEVs increased from 2.6 percent in 2020 to 5.8 percent by September 2021 – which is another clear indicator of electricity-based powertrain technology increasingly catching on. Sales figures for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have seen a similarly impressive increase. In 2021, an estimated 6.7 million PEVs were sold around the world, according to information provided by the International Energy Agency (IEA). In 2020, only 3.1 million were sold.

In Germany, Schaeffler’s home base, more and more consumers are switching to electric cars as well. In calendar year 2021, gasoline-powered cars were even overtaken by those using electrified powertrains for the first time. According to statistics of the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), 754,588 hybrid electric vehicles were registered, equating to a market share of 28.8 percent (+43 percent). In addition, 355,961 battery electric vehicles were sold, corresponding to a market share of 13.6 percent (+83.3 percent). The share of gasoline-powered passenger cars amounted to 972,558 cars sold, plus there were 524,446 diesel-powered passenger cars, which means that, overall, cars with internal combustion engines (ICEs) are still the front runners in Germany.

However, on a global scale, Schaeffler assumes that 30 percent all-electric, 40 percent hybrid electric and 30 percent ICE powertrains will account for new registrations in the passenger car and van or pickup truck segment by 2030.

Electric mobility accounted for one third of all new business

The Schaeffler Group that became active in electric mobility early on and has developed an extensive product portfolio both in terms of depth and breadth is among the players benefiting from this development. Production capacities have been adjusted to the technology transformation in favor of electric mobility as well and in 2021 a state-of-the-art production site for electric powertrain components was inaugurated in Szombathely, Hungary. At 3.2 billion euros in the previous fiscal year, the E-Mobility Division surpassed the original targets (1.5 to 2 billion euros) by far and already contributes almost one third of the entire automotive incoming order volume of 10.2 billion euros.

  • More detailed information about fiscal year 2021 can be obtained from a press release.
Extensive e-mobility modular kit for Schaeffler customers
Electric mobility picks up momentum
The 2in1 E-axis from Schaeffler integrates the reduction gear and the electric motor in one compact unit
© Schaeffler

Schaeffler provides its customers with a diversified electric modular kit. The supplier is able to offer the entire capacity range from 20 to more than 300 kW for battery voltages between 48 and up to 800 volts to automotive manufacturers. Just recently Schaeffler’s 2in1 e-axle was recognized as Innovation of the Year in the “Golden Steering Wheel” competition, one of Europe’s most important automotive awards. The axle is characterized primarily by very high power density and excellent acoustic performance. It can be used in both hybrid electric and battery electric applications.

Moreover, Schaeffler is continuously increasing the integration level of electric axles. In addition to the electric motor and transmission, the 3in1 e-axle combines the power electronics unit in a single system. For this innovation, Schaeffler has already been awarded several customer contracts as well.

However, at the annual press conference, CEO Klaus Rosenfeld recently emphasized that Schaeffler’s products have to be CO2-efficient not only in operation but that strict sustainability criteria are to be adhered to as early as in the production stage.

The topic of sustainability is of strategic importance for Schaeffler. Despite the current geopolitical uncertainties, we will continue to follow this approach and will drive forward our activities in this area to achieve our goals

Electric mobility picks up momentum
CEO Klaus Rosenfeld© Schaeffler

Schaeffler has set itself the goal of achieving climate-neutral business activities from 2040 on. This goal includes the entire supply chain. In-house production in the Automotive, Automotive Aftermarket and Industry Divisions will even be climate-neutral by as early as 2030. In pursuit of this goal solid progress was achieved again in 2021. For instance, Schaeffler has been purchasing 100 percent electricity from renewable sources at its production sites in Europe since last year. “As part of the successful energy efficiency program, a total saving of around 47 gigawatt hours will be achieved from 2022, which is approximately equivalent to the annual electricity requirement of 15,000 two-person households in Germany,” said Corinna Schittenhelm, Chief Human Resources Officer.