Around the world with BMW i and Torqeedo technology: German sailor Boris Herrmann is planning to compete for the Yacht Club de Monaco in the Vendée Globe solo, around-the-world race in 2020 with the yacht ‘Malizia’.
BMW and Torqeedo plan to support Team Malizia with lightweight construction and zero-emission drive technology.
BMW has a successful record of technology transfer between competitive sailing and automobile manufacturing through their long history of involvement in the America’s Cup. Materials originally developed for racing like ultra-lightweight carbon fiber reinforced polymer are now used to construct BMW’s i3 and i8 vehicles. Since 2017, the lithium batteries which power these groundbreaking BMW vehicles have been adapted to power Torqeedo’s innovative electric drive systems for boats.
The next generation of BMW i lithium batteries, which are characterized by outstanding energy density and longevity, have already been made boat-ready by Torqeedo. Together with BMW, attempts are now underway to develop a reliable and emission-free drive system solution for ‘Malizia’.
The objective is the development of an alternative to the diesel power unit, which weighs in at around 380 kg (including fuel) and is on board primarily for safety reasons. One option could be to replace this with a Torqeedo electric inboard motor with BMW i battery technology, to cross the oceans of the world with zero emissions. An electric motor can act as a hydrogenerator while the yacht is under sail, charging the lithium batteries and providing power to the onboard systems and the canting keel.
“Emission-free round the world under race conditions, whilst simultaneously producing your own energy, is a thoroughly inspirational concept,” said ‘Malizia’ skipper Boris Herrmann. “Our Technology Partner BMW is conducting intensive research into battery development for hybrid and electric cars. We share a common vision of integrating these batteries into ‘Malizia’.”
“This project capitalizes on Torqeedo’s expertise with fully integrated electric motor and power management systems for the marine environment and BMW’s leading-edge battery technology.”, said Christoph Ballin, CEO of Torqeedo.
The ‘Malizia’ sails under the flag of the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM). The YCM vice-president, Pierre Casiraghi, is the youngest son of Princess Caroline of Monaco. He sails regularly with Herrmann and is supporting this Vendée campaign. He will be competing with the German sailor at the Open60 two-man regattas. Last year, Herrmann and Casiraghi secured third place at the legendary Rolex Fastnet Race.
Torqeedo is the market leader for electric mobility on the water. Founded in 2005 in Starnberg, the company develops and manufactures electric and hybrid drives from 0.5 to 100 kW for commercial applications and recreational use. Torqeedo products are characterized by an uncompromising high-tech focus, maximum efficiency and complete system integration. Torqeedo is part of the DEUTZ Group, one of the world's leading independent suppliers of diesel and natural gas engines. www.torqeedo.com
The BMW Group
With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2017, the BMW Group sold over 2,463,500 passenger vehicles and more than 164,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2017 was € 10.655 billion on revenues amounting to € 98.678 billion. As of 31 December 2017, the BMW Group had a workforce of 129,932 employees. The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy. www.bmwgroup.com
BMW i battery technology
The battery cells for BMW i models come from Samsung SDI. The specific packaging and assembly into a storage element is performed by BMW. The packaging, construction principle and cooling system are key to the range of the vehicle and the life of the battery. For example, the high-voltage battery in the BMW i3 features an integrated liquid cooling system, which ensures the energy storage system is always at the optimal working temperature. However, a high-quality and stable production process is equally important for the high-voltage battery. In this regard, the BMW Group has faith in its in-house manufacturing, the laser welding expertise at the Dingolfing plant, and the process know-how in the field of high voltage.