Schaeffler launches two new bearings for electric vehicles


Leading German bearing manufacturer Schaeffler says innovative bearing solutions play a key role in sustainable mobility by making powertrains and chassis systems more energy efficient. In the EV space, every bit of energy saved means more range.

As part of its strategy to serve the electric vehicle market, the German bearing company is introducing two product innovations specifically designed for electric vehicles: the TriFinity three-row wheel bearing and the high-efficiency ball bearing with disc. centrifugal.

Matthias Zink, CEO – Automotive Technologies, Schaeffler, said: “Innovative bearing technologies are at the heart of our product DNA and underpin the success of our Automotive Technologies division. Schaeffler seeks to adapt its efficient, high-precision bearing solutions to electrified powertrains and chassis systems, as well as conventional powertrains, to further improve these systems and make them more durable.

To achieve greater synergies and faster development times for its custom solutions, the company created a new Bearings business division within its Automotive Technologies division earlier this year.

Dr. Dieter Elreiner, Head of Schaeffler’s New Business Division, said: “Electric mobility represents a major opportunity for our bearings business. We foresee strong growth in the coming years, with significant market potential in particular for ball, cylindrical roller and tapered roller bearings. We are already involved in a number of promising development projects with renowned car manufacturers. Innovative rolling technologies are also very important for light and heavy commercial vehicles, as they significantly increase the range of the vehicle. By working with our customers, we intend to take bearings to a whole new level.

Maximum modularity
Schaeffler says its TriFinity product is a three-row wheel bearing designed for use in electrified powertrains. It is no larger than standard double row ball bearings, but is capable of transferring greater axle loads, while providing significantly longer life and improved stiffness. Additionally, the innovative ball bearing design provides an alternative to preloaded tapered roller bearings. Switching from tapered rollers to ball bearings results in significant improvements in frictional torque and stiffness, resulting in a 0.7% reduction in electricity consumption per vehicle in FTP75 test cycles. The combination of TriFinity with Schaeffler’s face spline technology enables downsizing solutions in the form of wheel bearing units with smaller diameters, and therefore reduced friction of bearings and seals, weight of optimized rolling and a reduced carbon footprint. For the same dimensions, zero clearance face spline technology reduces bearing weight while allowing the component to transmit up to 50% more drive torque. It also facilitates bearing assembly and reduces noise emissions from electric vehicles.

On the other hand, the new high-efficiency ball bearing with centrifugal disc from Schaeffler is a high-performance, friction-optimized and durable product for electromobility applications. It combines the advantages of open bearing and sealed bearing designs. With 0.3Nm less friction and a reduction in CO2 emissions of approximately 0.1/km per bearing, the High Efficiency Ball Bearing with Centrifugal Disc is a smart yet simple solution that has a major impact on overall performance. It has a lifespan 10 times longer than that of an open bearing and represents a significant reduction in costs. This product innovation has already received the Magna Supplier Award and was nominated for the German Innovation Award 2022.


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