Green Products

The goal of CO2-neutral mobility can only be achieved through the increased use of renewable energy sources, which is why the Schaeffler Group, together with its customers, develops products for the entire energy chain – with a technological focus on the renewable energy sector.

In light of global developments including urbanization, digitalization, resource scarcity, and climate change, the Schaeffler Group pursues the goal of supporting customers with innovative products and system solutions to manage the challenges it faces – such as the reduction of CO2 emissions. This includes the development of products that make a significant and measurable contribution toward shaping drives for urban and interurban mobility and for the energy chain in an environmentally responsible way. The Schaeffler Group’s products – especially in the focus areas of urban mobility, E-Mobility, and the energy chain – directly contribute to the fulfillment of  7 and 11. Product solutions – for example, for micromobility in cities – support the development of “sustainable cities and communities” (SDG 11). This also applies for products and developments in the energy chain that make a contribution to SDG 7, “sustainable and modern energy for all.”

Outlook: Sustainable Mobility

The company expects that the worldwide automobile market will be powered, on average, by approx. 30% internal combustion engines, 40% hybrid drives, and 30% all-electric drives by 2030. The Schaeffler Group is pursuing various directions with regard to the further development of different drive technologies. Efficiency gains in internal combustion engines and (new) developments for electromobility are expected to be attained by 2030. In addition, improvements are expected to be achieved across all drive technologies through the use of overarching technologies, e.g., in the area of friction optimization.

Accelerated Scenario

Regionalized Accelerated Scenario 2030

Source: IHS and Schaeffler Assumptions / Values based on Light Vehicles < 6 tons only, = Internal Combustion Engine; = Hybrid Electric Vehicles ranging from 48V Mild Hybrid to PHEV, = Battery Electric Vehicles (incl. Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles)

Expansion of E-Mobility

In the coming years, the Schaeffler Group expects a continued rise in the number of electric vehicles. The company therefore aims to consistently expand in the area of E-Mobility: On January 1, 2018, an independent E-Mobility business division was launched. It consolidates the efforts for all products and system solutions in the segment of electric-based drive technologies. Likewise, the business division “Industry 4.0,” which also began operating in January 2018, is intended to support the E-Mobility business division by centrally identifying future opportunities and tapping into additional growth potential.


predicted proportion of electrically operated vehicles in 2030.

By 2020, an investment budget of half a billion euros will be available for the expansion of this new business division. Schaeffler is in the process of expanding three competence centers for E-Mobility worldwide: in Bühl in Germany, in Wooster in the USA, and in Anting in China. In November 2017, the company announced that it will be investing 60 million in the expansion of the competence center at the Wooster site. At the site in Bühl, the plan is to increase the development team E-Mobility by 50% to include a total of 300 employees. The competence center in China is intended to meet the increasing importance of the Chinese market in regards to E-Mobility.

In addition to its organic growth, the Schaeffler Group is expanding its competences in E-motors through targeted acquisitions. One year after taking a majority stake in Compact Dynamics GmbH in December 2017, for example, the company purchased the remaining 49% of the company’s shares. Compact Dynamics GmbH, which is headquartered in Starnberg, is a development specialist in the area of innovative electric drive concepts focused on high-performance drives and integrated lightweight construction in small series and applications in motorsports.

Growing Product Portfolio

The Schaeffler Group has been engaged with the development of new electric drive concepts for more than ten years. In the context of its own units whose work is closely connected to research, it thereby intensively cooperates with leading universities and today owns an extensive, ever-growing portfolio of products. The spectrum ranges from electrically operated coupling devices to components and drives for mild hybrids, high-voltage hybrid solutions, and completely electric drives for hybrid and entirely electric vehicles.

E-Mobility and Hybrid Series Products of the Schaeffler Group

SOP = Start of Production

Altogether, by the end of 2017, the Schaeffler Group had acquired a total of eight series projects for E-Mobility or hybrid products. These include, among other things, electrical axles and hybrid modules with an integrated torque converter. However, in the next few years, conventional drives will also continue to be in demand in large numbers. Against this backdrop, the Schaeffler Group pursues the continuous increase in the efficiency and performance of conventional drive technologies in order to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in the long term.

In addition to all-electric vehicles, a large number of vehicles on the road in the future will be powered by hybrid drives. In the field of environmentally friendly drives, the concept car “Gasoline Technology Car II” (GTC II) has been developed. It demonstrates the potential of an intelligent 48-volt hybridization based on the current state of development. The GTC I, unveiled in 2014 at the International Vienna Motor Symposium, discharged CO2 emissions of 95 g/km. Under the same test conditions, the GTC II emits about 10% less CO2. In October 2017, the Schaeffler Group presented the electric axle as a modular building-block system for both hybrid vehicles and all-electric vehicles.

Internal Combustion Engines: Friction Reduction in Focus

For the near future, mobility will continue to be mainly shaped by internal combustion engines. That makes it even more important to further lower CO2 emissions of gas and diesel vehicles. For this reason, avoiding friction loss occupies an important place in the Schaeffler Group’s product development process. One approach followed by developers is using lubricants with further reduced viscosity. Another approach is the use of rolling bearings in the place of plain bearings in engines – a path already laid out by Schaeffler’s extensive predevelopment activities. In a development project carried out in collaboration with Ford, the Schaeffler Group conducted a detailed examination of the requirements for a crankshaft-roller bearing and the resulting advantages in a 1.0-L three-cylinder gasoline engine. To configure the crankshaft-roller bearing as needed, the developers work with simulations of the lubricant properties and analyze all relevant parameters with the internally developed software BEARINX.

An Eye on the Entire Energy Chain

A changing environment demands a holistic view of the energy chain as well as innovative mobility concepts. This offers great opportunities for the Schaeffler Group and determines the current development environment.

A focal point of the central R&D activities is wholly integrating the energy chain – from the production of energy from primarily renewable energy sources to the storage of energy and its consumption. In terms of energy production, for example, the wind power sector is developing nearly frictionless bearings, which reduce wear and extend service life. Beyond this, Schaeffler is preparing to enter the field of industrialized fuel cell technology. Existing competencies in technologies such as metalworking, coating, and assembly are being used to develop and produce high-performance metallic bipolar plates – an integral component of fuel cells.

Solutions for Bicycles and Cargobikes

Increasing urban micromobility was also the goal of the developer FAG Velomatik. The system ensures that the right gear is engaged in every riding situation and improves power articulation through the pedals. In spring 2017, a customer delivered the first prototypes to interested buyers and the trade press. In cooperation with the Nuremberg Institute of Technology, the Schaeffler Group is working on a light electric vehicle (LEV) that will meet the requirements of professional courier express parcel (CEP) service providers. As part of the project “LEV@CEP,” the LEV has been in test production since March 2017. Series production should start in 2020.

Robust and Future-Oriented Product Development Processes

It is equally important to the Schaeffler Group and its customers to anticipate “green” developments in its technology and product development before the competition in order to more quickly realize marketable innovations. For this purpose, the company has defined a standardized product development process (PDP) for the entire Group. The PDP is a Group business process with the goal of developing new marketable and distributable (series) products. To achieve this goal, the company uses a maturity model structuring the product and production stages through multiple phases and intermediary gateways.

Schaeffler Group Research and Development







Percentage change


In the course of a post hoc validation, the figure was corrected and thus deviates from the representation in the Sustainability Report 2016.

Research and development (R&D) expenses (EUR millions)







R&D ratio (%)







Internal invention reports (number)







Patent applications (number)







One of the relevant developments that the company is anticipating with its PDP is the tightening of requirements in relation to noise, CO2 emissions, and safety – both for trucks and passenger vehicles. Among other things, in November 2017, the EU Commission decided on new CO2 emissions limits. The fleet average for new vehicle emissions must be reduced by 30% by 2030; this is based on the maximum value of 95 g/km to be reached by 2021. At the same time, it can be expected that traffic volumes in metropolitan areas will further increase and that this will require the means of mobility to change.

Sustainable Development Goals; 17 goals for sustainable development of the United Nations that are intended to help secure sustainable development on the economic, social, and ecological level.
Internal Combustion Engine.
Hybrid Electric Vehicle.
Battery Electric Vehicle = a vehicle powered purely by electricity.
U.S. dollars.