Bosch Makes Racing Karts Clean and Quiet
Powertrain technology from the street to the race track
Karting is considered to be the gateway series into the world of professional motorsport. Currently, most racing karts are powered by internal-combustion engines. When the FIA, DMSB, Mach 1 Kart, and Bosch decided to develop an all-new electric powertrain for professional karting, they logically began with a blank sheet of paper. The idea was to create a purely electric motorsport discipline that made no compromises in power or performance. Bosch motorsport engineers came up with a solution in the form of the new BRS boost recuperation system, whose first generation will go into production at the company starting in 2017. The electrical components of the BRS support the internal-combustion motor in compact vehicles with up to 10 kW of additional power, which reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 15 percent on the street. It also provides the internal-combustion engine with an additional 150 newton meters of torque during acceleration. “We have modified the system for use in professional karting, and we are using it it to electrically power the e-kart prototype,” says Dr. Klaus B?ttcher, vice president of Bosch Motorsport. “We offer a complete system combining Bosch automotive large-scale production technology with specially developed components and powertrain control software from a single source.” Two starter-generators delivering a total output of 20 kW form the basis of the new powertrain, which sends a sporting 300 Nm of torque to the rear axle. Energy is stored in the system using a 48-volt lithium battery. In addition, the starter-generators can recover energy during recuperation and then use it for acceleration. The nerve center of the powertrain is a custom ECU that controls energy flows throughout the kart. A set of sensors and a wiring harness complete the overall system. The new electric powertrain turns the Mach 1 Kart chassis into a clean, fast, and agile performer on the race track. “Even during its initial run, the electric kart was able to hit 100 kph in less than five seconds and achieve a top speed of over 130 kph. Over the coming weeks and months we will continue testing to further explore the capabilities of the new e-kart,” explains B?ttcher.
With more than 100 associates around the world, Bosch Motorsport has been a part of Bosch Engineering, a subsidiary specializing in engineering services, since 2003. Bosch Motorsport engineers equip teams running in the DTM, FIA European Formula 3 Championship, the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany, and numerous rallies and long-distance championships – including the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans event and of course the ultimate formula racing series – with race-tested technology made by Bosch. Bosch's involvement in motor racing dates back 115 years: the first racing victories with Bosch technology on board came in the early 1900s, and the motorsport success stories continue to this day.