In recent years, more than 300 of these axles have covered a total of well over 8.5 million miles, proving that city buses can be operated very economically and with zero local emissions. This is also due to the energy management system – something ZF offers customers as an option – that regulates the interplay of power draw, energy regeneration (recharging batteries from energy recovered during braking) and energy storage. By installing this control system, with its built-in inverter, customers can maximize overall efficiency – an all-electric solution driven by the AVE 130 uses up to 75 percent less energy than a diesel driveline, as shown by sample calculations during a pilot project in Stuttgart.
The system is also versatile in one other important respect: it fits into the same space and has the same interface dimensions as portal axles for conventional buses driven by combustion engines. Meaning that bus manufacturers can “electrify” their existing model ranges using existing, well-established vehicle technology.