More Efficient Than EverElectrification, Driveline Technology, Lightweight Design, and Electronics from ZF.

Lower fuel consumption and lower CO₂ emissions are key drivers of development at ZF. The technology company is intensively researching concepts for future efficient mobility. On the one hand, focus is placed on optimizing combustion engines through efficient transmission systems as well as driveline components that support the downsizing principle and, on the other, hybridization and electrification. Also, the weight of a passenger car chassis, for example, can be significantly reduced through various measures. Moreover, intelligent electronics as well as increasing vehicle networking with other drivers and the surroundings are making important contributions to efficiency.

Electrifying Plug-In hybrids and All-Electric Drives Made by ZF

The combination of tighter carbon dioxide targets and growing competitive and cost pressure, along with ever greater customer expectations calls for specific electric drive expertise: ZF offers this expertise with a modular approach that meets all the requirements in terms of functionality as well as vehicle manufacturers' commercial requirements.

The ZF portfolio includes all components for the cost-effective electrified driveline including control units and power electronics, starting with individual hybrid modules, plug-in hybrid systems, through to all-electric concepts. These all-electric concepts include a drive module, which produces up to 120 kW, located centrally on the axle, as well as the eTB (electric Twist Beam), which incorporates two electric motors close to the wheel in a semi-independent rear suspension.

In Demand in All Vehicle Categories Passenger Cars with Efficient ZF Automatic Transmissions

Automatic passenger car transmissions from ZF have proven highly successful on the market. Since starting volume production of its 8-speed automatic transmission (8HP) in 2009 and up to the end of 2014, ZF has already sold 7.5 million units, with the Saarbrücken and Gray Court (USA) locations producing more than 2.6 million units annually (status: mid-2015).

In vehicles with front-transverse engines, which represent the drive category with the world's strongest growth potential, ZF technology is also gaining traction. Roughly two years since the start of volume production of the 9-speed automatic transmission (9HP), it has grown into an international success, currently with three customers and diverse volume-production applications.

With each new transmission generation, ZF has helped to reduce fuel consumption and emissions in passenger cars. ZF automatic transmissions additionally provide the highest level of driving comfort and dynamics.

Reversing the Weight Spiral ZF Lightweight Design for Car Chassis

Over the past decades, vehicles have continuously become safer and more efficient. However, higher payloads, increased driving stability, and better dynamic driving properties also often mean more complex axles with increased weight.

ZF has been working towards reversing this trend for a number of years. The newest version of a wheel-guiding transverse spring made of glass-fiber reinforced plastics (GRP), which ZF has integrated into a lightweight rear axle for passenger cars, bears evidence of these efforts. The ZF design weighs about 13 percent less than a multilink rear suspension. This weight reduction with comparable performance is made possible primarily by the holistic lightweight-design approach rigorously implemented at ZF.

ZF has been weight-optimizing individual components for years: Lightweight shock absorbers, control arms, and brake pedals are available in volume production applications and contribute to weight reduction in passenger cars.


Column drive electrically powered steering (EPS) is an innovative, power-assisted steering technology that eliminates the connection between the steering system and engine. The additional steering torque assist is provided by the electric motor. Column drive EPS’s modular and scalable design offers built-in packaging flexibility, making it efficient for a broad range of vehicle applications while still reducing life cycle costs.

The electronic control unit is integrated into the drive assembly and contains the control algorithms for creating dynamic steering response – something that cannot be achieved using hydraulic steering systems. Column drive EPS continually monitors the driver interaction via the steering wheel and only consumes power to support the driver when steering assist is needed. This reduction in the amount of energy required by the steering system can make a significant contribution to lowering fuel consumption and CO² emissions.


Electronic stability control (ESC) – hybrid, based on the modular EBC460 design, is a cost-attractive regenerative braking solution for electric and hybrid vehicles. It represents the integration of electro-hydraulic braking functionality into ESC technology. The production-proven system features a robust six- piston pump design enabling regenerative braking that blends the recovery of brake energy from the hybrid or full electric motor with friction braking leading to enhanced fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.

Drivers experience a high level of comfort in all slip control interventions and in automated braking and adaptive cruise control applications with minimum noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

The system features improved pressure gradients for automatic braking functions. It uses a conventional actuation system with the ability to detect pedal travel, thus providing excellent cost, weight, package and performance characteristics.