by Tina Olivero

    Megawatt Charging Speeds for Electrified Motorsports: From 5% to 85% in Just Under 90 seconds


    In motor racing, all-electric powertrains are no longer a novelty. In response to the growing demand for highly efficient and powerful batteries, the engineers at hofer powertrain, a technology and engineering partner of the automotive world, developed a pioneering battery technology equipped with extremely safe high-power battery cells that promise to charge currents of up to 3.75 MW. What began as a research and development project “BlueFire” in 2019 is a groundbreaking new megawatt-class innovation with FlashCharge speeds for sprint and endurance e-motorsport.

    The hofer powertrain battery team developed a fully functional high-voltage battery using a market-leading BMS system and fast-charging CCS DC wall box available on the market at the time. The initial proof of concept involved installing it in a racing kart and subjecting it to a series of complex tests under load and with real road resistance, which significantly exceeded expectations. By simulating various driving situations with the high-voltage charging system, it was possible to determine the battery’s and system’s functionalities as well as the overall performance within the powertrain system, where all measurements confirmed the groundbreaking charging curve. The hofer powertrain BlueFire battery demonstrated extremely high cycle stability. In less than 90 seconds, the battery could be recharged successfully from 5-85% S0C. The LTO cells used for this purpose have proven to be particularly suitable for applications that require fast charging and discharging with high charging currents and have opened new possibilities for the future.

    During this initial pilot project in pre-development, it became apparent that the new battery is ideal for 24-hour endurance races that rely on extremely short charging times. In addition, it can be variably scaled to fit different applications.

    In the meantime, initial discussions with interested parties and investors have started with excellent responses. The engineers are currently focusing on increasing the already very high energy density in the cells of the BlueFire battery considerably while at the same time reducing the weight of these cells.

    “In endurance races, the ultimate aim is to shorten charging times during pit stops so that the sports cars return to the circuit in no time. Exactly that happens when the necessary charging energy is transferred to the BlueFire battery using the megawatt charging system and appropriate MCS connector systems. This integrated system makes purely electric endurance races, such as an LMDe race series, into a spectacular and emotional experience, comparable to the new LMDh race series today,” says Gerold Sluka, a senior battery expert at hofer powertrain.

    About hofer powertrain

    hofer powertrain is a system supplier, engineering, and technology partner for efficient powertrain solutions covering all classes of electrified vehicles. The company’s primary goal is to increase the efficiency of e-mobility with future-oriented solutions. This goal is achieved through a unique, in-depth knowledge of the complete powertrain system, including software, functions, and vehicle integration from pre-development to SOP and beyond. This holistic powertrain expertise is represented worldwide by expert teams in Europe, Asia, and the United States.

    Tina Olivero

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