Bosch Motorsport and the Dragon/Penske Autosport Formula E Team have agreed on a long-term technology and engineering partnership for the Los Angeles and UK-headquartered racing team’s cars in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
Within the framework of this cooperation, Bosch will be developing an electronic vehicle management system specially tailored to the requirements of the Formula E vehicle along with the corresponding hardware and software components required.
The system core is represented by the central MS 50.4P vehicle control unit (VCU). Apart from the motor functions and central energy management, the MS 50.4P also controls other vehicle functions such as brake energy recovery and the display in the driver cockpit.
“Collaboration with Dragon enhances our successful involvement as a series sponsor of Formula E. With this partnership, Bosch underscores its claim as a leading supplier of powertrain management solutions, both in electromobility for production vehicles and in electrified motorsports,” said Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management at Robert Bosch GmbH.
Plans entail deploying the innovative vehicle management system in a race for the first time in spring 2021. Preparations are already underway. Bosch is also planning to develop an entire electric powertrain for Formula E for the Gen3 cars.
Jay Penske, owner and team principal of Dragon/Penske Autosport, added: “We are very excited to embark on this journey with Bosch in Formula E. We are grateful for the support of Bosch Engineering and the entire Bosch Global board.
“Through our work together we will provide Bosch with a platform to both showcase its capabilities as it develops Formula E specific technologies, while also using the team’s storytelling abilities to illustrate the role Bosch is playing as a leader in the electrification of the mobility industry. This long-term technical partnership marks a significant turning point for the team, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of our alliance on track this season when we introduce our new Penske Autosport package later this year.”
Extensive technology package offered by Bosch
The central VCU, offered by Bosch represents the heart of the vehicle electronics for the electric race cars of the Dragon/Penske Autosport team. Bosch has developed a bespoke vehicle wiring harness to provide optimum integration within the cars. Bosch also equips the team’s development car with data loggers to improve the team’s research and testing capabilities. In order to optimally adapt the new vehicle electronics to the overall vehicle, Bosch provides its RaceConnect LTE cloud solution during development and test driving for transferring telemetric data and data analysis. This provides the race team engineers with all the important parameters and data on the vehicle, powertrain, and tires, enabling them to be analyzed and optimized swiftly and efficiently.
As the Formula E regulations prescribe the use of many systems, the performance of the electronic system makes a decisive contribution to racing success. “When optimizing the control software, we aim to always strike the right balance between energy efficiency and lap times under all track and racing conditions in order to optimally exploit the vehicle’s full potential. The extensive transfer of know-how and expertise at Bosch between volume production developments and applications for the race track helps us in this regard,” said Dr. Klaus Böttcher, vice president Bosch Motorsport. Moreover, with the race energy management function of the MS 50.4P the vehicle’s driving performance is adapted dynamically so that the fastest possible lap time can be achieved with a specified amount of energy. What is more, the central vehicle control unit also ensures maximum energy recovery rates in the interplay between the electric and hydraulic brakes, and adapts the powertrain and brakes to the individual race conditions, thereby optimizing vehicle feedback to the driver.
Nicolas Mauduit, EVP and chief technical officer of Dragon/Penske Autosport, said: “This alliance with Bosch is providing us with additional resources, amplifying our ability to scale our engineering, while giving us access to Bosch’s combination of hardware and software expertise to help us compete with the largest OEMs, in the most competitive motorsport championship. We have been hard at work together in order to hit the ground running this season, and I am eager to see the results of our efforts when the new Penske EV-5 package, supported by the Bosch electronic and hardware ecosystem, makes its debut this spring.”