Embedding Mobility for Tomorrow
Making new technologies socially acceptable is not a quick process and both people and organizations have their parts to play. Schaeffler is fully aware of its responsibilities: “We are designing mobility for tomorrow,“ says Prof. Peter Gutzmer at the opening of the rapid charging station for e-vehicles in Bühl, “but that is not enough on its own.“ A role model is required, “so, we are embedding mobility for tomorrow in the business and making it part of our daily working life,“ according to Prof. Gutzmer.
Ongoing expansion of the charging infrastructure
A gap has been closed at Schaeffler`s Bühl site, as a charging infrastructure for e-vehicles is now available at the company`s three largest sites in Germany (Herzogenaurach, Bühl and Schweinfurt). Charging stations will also be installed in Höchstadt, Hirschaid and Langen this year. This connects a total of six sites to the network of charging stations which covers all sites. The Schaeffler Group has an internal standard for expanding the charging infrastructure which applies for all of Germany. This regulates areas such as fire prevention, using green electricity and marking parking spots. Framework contracts have been agreed with charging infrastructure providers in order to generate a consistent charging infrastructure which guarantees further systematic expansion. “Our aim is to double the number of sites with a charging infrastructure in the mid-term,“ explains Prof. Gutzmer in Bühl.
Company vehicle guidelines for plug-in hybrids unveiled
In addition to the steady expansion of charging infrastructures, other measures are in place to stay abreast of the continuing electrification of vehicles and to embed it in the business, such as the unveiling of company vehicle guidelines: On January 1, 2016, Schaeffler extended its company vehicle guidelines in Germany to include the use of plug-in hybrids. Several employees have since decided to opt for a plug-in hybrid and are completing their daily commute purely electrically. Schaeffler has undertaken to continue to promote the use of plug-in hybrids as company vehicles.
Electric fleet vehicles
However, Schaeffler is not restricting itself to plug-in hybrids. Since unveiling the first electric charging station in Herzogenaurach in 2014, several electric vehicles have been added to the fleet which are being used on a daily basis for business trips. “For each new charging station we add, we also acquire a new electric vehicle – the development of the charging infrastructure and the fleet go hand in hand,“ according to Prof. Gutzmer.
The charging infrastructure and electrification of the fleet is also being rolled out internationally. Schaeffler already has charging points at important sites in China, Japan and North America where both full hybrid and plug-in hybrids are in use.
Electro-mobility creates jobs
More good news: e-mobility is driving the jobs market. The hybrid drive business unit at Schaeffler`s Bühl site has recently been restructured. There will be approximately 160 additional positions throughout Germany. In global terms, the business is doubling its capacity in the e-mobility sector. In total, the number of employees engaged in e-mobility, mechatronics and digitalization is expected to rise to 2,400 by 2021.