Last month, powertrain, chassis and safety technology developer ZF Motion & Mobility announced that its new electric drive system, which is based on a modular approach, will start volume production with a European vehicle manufacturer in 2018.
The drive system, which is positioned at the centre of the axle, is at the heart of the drive and can be used for various vehicle and performance categories. The system features an electric motor configured as an asynchronous motor (ASM), and with power outputs up to 150 kW, the unit sets new standards in terms of power-to-weight ratio.
An electric motor, a two-stage single-speed transmission complete with differential as well as power electronics, forms a highly integrated and compact unit. The technology is suitable as an all-electric drive for battery-powered, fuel cell or hybrid electric vehicles and is suitable for both front and rear axle applications.
ZF Motion & Mobility E-mobility division head JörgGrotendorst has said that the company will continue to proactively shape the future of electromobility. With the modular approach within the electric drive units, the company is providing its customers with a tailored solution, which is simultaneously based on a high proportion of standard components.
“ZF’s efficient and compact drive system demonstrates that the system integration of the transmission, electric motor and power electronics reflects a core competence that we can offer our customers from a single source,” explains Grotendorst.
In an axially parallel electric drive module, the company has integrated an electric ASM and a two-stage single-speed transmission with a differential, a housing and a cooling unit as well as power electronics including software. The motor and transmission share one housing, simplifying production and final assembly.
ZF Motion &Mobility has opted for an axially parallel single-speed transmission ratio of 9.6:1, which reduces the speed level in two subsequent spur gear stages. The optimised gearing and the low-loss mounting of rotating parts enable not only noise reduction but also very high efficiency across a wide operating range.
The innovative design is rounded off by an integral overall cooling concept, which includes both power electronics and the electric motor and also cools the electric motor’s rotor. This results in good acoustic and dynamic characteristics of the electric drive in the vehicle.
With the launch of a new E-mobility division at the start of this year with headquarters in Schweinfurt, Germany, the company has now merged all of its e-mobility activities under one roof. Production of the modular electric drive systems will take place in the E-mobility headquarters and construction of the new production facility is already under way.
Customers of ZF’s electric drive systems can benefit from the company’s overall expertise, which includes valuable system know-how about the entire driveline, including its functional and structural integration into the complete vehicle. The company’s capabilities in the area of mechanics derive from its well-established driveline and chassis technology product portfolio.