ZF bringing new e- technologies to commercial vehicles
By Mike Brezonick04 May 2022
ZF will launch new generations of its modular and scalable silicon carbide (SiC) inverter architecture, hairpin electric motors and eWorX electric powertrain and accessories technology to its commercial vehicle business in 2023. The company said the move reinforces its commitment to a fully electrified future of mobility and will help pave a way toward an all-electric future.
“Within the commercial vehicle industry, ZF has a unique technology advantage, largely due to our significant investments in proprietary core competencies that enable us to offer cost-effective electrification solutions for all commercial vehicles classes,” said Christian Feldhaus, director, Driveline Systems North America, Commercial Vehicle Solutions, ZF Group. “We are making these important investments at the right time to ensure a successful future of mobility through the industry’s electrification transformation.”
Modular and scalable inverters
ZF said its proprietary scalable and modular SiC inverter architecture provides maximum flexibility from 400 to 800V, based on the latest silicon carbide technologies. The inverter design combines next generation power semiconductors, intelligent software algorithms and leverages ZF’s deep experience in electric drives to increase efficiency, performance and shorten development cycles.
“Through our involvement as the “Official Powertrain Partner” first to Venturi and now Mahindra, in the Formula E World Championship, ZF has quickly brought to market new advanced electrification technology, which has been tested in the extreme conditions of the race series,” Feldhaus said. “The investment in Formula E accelerates the pace of advanced technology development at ZF – for example, advancements in the use of silicon carbide in our inverter, offering significantly higher efficiency at all performance levels, while increasing range and speeding up charging times.”
ZF’s modular e-motor portfolio, which incorporates a common electromagnetic design for the stator, an asynchronous motor (ASM) or permanent magnet synchronous motor (PSM) design for the rotor, ranges from 75 to 400 kW and 400 to 800 V architectures.
Electric accessory systems
ZF said its newly developed eWorX product portfolio provides fully electric system solutions in a compact design with a standard interface that simplifies the integration required for electrifying work equipment and accessories, regardless of the driveline configuration.
Electric commercial vehicles have a significantly modified driveline architecture compared to conventional diesel-powered vehicles. This presents a new set of challenges for vehicle manufacturers when it comes to the design of power take-offs (PTOs).
The newly developed eWorX product family offers an all-in-one solution to efficiently electrify PTOs for operating work equipment – regardless of the architecture used for the drive. The core is the modular ZF eCubE that links up the vehicle battery and the modular electric ZF ePTO, which in turn drives the equipment. The eCubE contains suitable power electronics, a control unit and software packages tailored to the respective application.
The seamless connection to the CAN bus allows eWorX solutions to be integrated into the vehicle’s battery and energy management. New safety and assistance functions can be realized, as well as the option of controlling the machines from outside the driver’s cabin, using a smartphone or tablet.
ZF is showcasing its electrification technologies at the upcoming 2022 Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, Calif.