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Scale-up E-Drive

Transformation Hub

A key element in the value creation of the automotive industry is the powertrain. Due to electrification, cost pressure and new market players, especially small and medium-sized enterprises are facing with major challenges. 

The aim of the "Scale-up E-Drive" project is to support these companies in the transformation processes in the electric vehicle powertrain and thus contribute to maintaining value creation and employment in Germany as a business location. 

Focus on SMEs

The transformation hub "Scale-up E-Drive" enables small and medium-sized enterprises in particular to take up new technology trends, find suitable partners and open up new business fields. To this end, the hub, which operates nationwide, will process current trends and industry information, provide pre-competitive and subject-specific content, as well as highlight new areas of opportunity in relation to the electric powertrain and initiate new collaborations through targeted networking.


Accessible Technology

The project partners in Stuttgart, Munich and Aachen ensure a high level of coverage of German automotive regions. “Showcases” will be set up in those cities to demonstrate competencies, processes, and products of the electric drive train, to conduct training courses and to ensure an innovative exchange of the relevant stakeholders. At the same time, "Scale-up E-Drive" is setting up a mobile showcase for the electric powertrain. This enables the active involvement of all regions in Germany.

Overall transfer concept of the BMWK

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) as part of the funding announcement "Establishment and implementation of transformation hubs to support transformation processes in value chains in the automotive industry". The aim of the funding announcement from the Future Automotive Industry Fund is to support the relevant stakeholders in the regions along the entire value chain who are affected by structural change in the automotive and supplier industry.

The federal government is funding the formation of 11 nationwide transformation hubs with approximately 49 million euros. These hubs will provide thematic and content-related support for the transformation, especially through knowledge transfer. The transformation hubs will cooperate closely with the existing transformation networks.

Initial consultation

The initial consultation addresses the individual situation of companies in the automotive value chain within the transformation process. For example, the contacts at e-mobil BW and Bayern Innovativ provide information on further offers, arrange suitable contacts, and offer targeted advice on funding programmes. The aim of the initial consultation is to provide orientation as to what support is needed and where it is offered regionally or nationally. These dialogues are also intended to provide an overview of the current situation in the sector and to identify areas for improvement and possible support offers for the individual company.

Project characteristics

Project duration

  • 01/2023 - 06/2025

Project funding by the BMWK

Consortium Leadership

  • e-mobil BW GmbH

Project partners

  • Bayern Innovativ - Bavarian Society for Innovation and Knowledge Transfer
  • German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Vehicle Concepts
  • Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM) at RWTH Aachen University
  • Chair of Automotive Engineering (FTM) at the Technical University of Munich (TUM)


The Aachen showcase site (Chair of PEM at RWTH Aachen University) focuses on production technology for electric drives. The researchers are investigating and validating new materials and process solutions for large-scale use in electric vehicle drives with the help of a wide range of plant technology and testing technology. The focus is on the production of prototypes and their application-oriented testing as a central building block for the successful industrialisation of innovative approaches. At the same time, the location allows networking with the local process technology from battery and fuel cell production as well as the integration of electrified drives in the utility vehicle segment.

The showcase location in Cologne (PEM of RWTH Aachen University) complements the infrastructure at the Aachen site. As part of the HaPiPro² research project (FKZ EFO-0011A), a laboratory for variant-flexible hairpin stator production is being set up on the grounds of Ford Werke GmbH, which will already be in operation at the time the project is scheduled to start. The laboratory will fully map the process chain from hairpin production to assembly, the welding process, impregnation and insulation processes and testing. This infrastructure is to be used and integrated in the context of attendance events of the hub Scale-up E-Drive.

The showcase in Munich (TUM-FTM) makes it possible to look at everything from individual components to their integration into the complete vehicle. In addition to two large battery laboratories, the engine test bench, driving simulators and a roller test bench are of particular importance within this hub. Within the hub, this research infrastructure is used both for demonstration purposes and for validating various simulation models. In addition, different drive concepts are analysed and evaluated via benchmark studies. The results of these analyses are made available to companies and research institutions in order to shift the focus of research and development in target-oriented and sustainable directions or to strengthen them in their current focus areas. This knowledge transfer is provided through the following concepts:

  • scientific publications
  • seminar formats
  • Guided tours of the department and its research infrastructure

The showcase in Stuttgart (DLR-FK) aims to give companies, research institutions and experts an in-depth insight into the field of the powertrain of the future. The central focus is DLR's Energy Drive Lab. Here, individual components can be developed and tested as well as optimised and analysed in the overall system. Using this central research infrastructure, individual topics (e.g. e-drive, power electronics) will be explained. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and potentials of transformation-relevant technologies, the following methods, for example, are used in the implementation:

  • Seminar formats
  • Presentation formats
  • Practical exercises
  • Exchange formats
  • Connection to showcases e.g., in Karlsruhe, Aachen and Munich

In addition to the showcase locations brought in by the consortium partners as part of the project, there are other demonstration areas in Germany with high value for the target group in the field of electric powertrains. Therefore, the hub strives for a close cooperation with further showcase locations. Furthermore, a mobile showcase with infrastructure enables nationwide coverage, especially to the north and east.