In addition to more space, this solution also reduces the weight of the bus. The entire axle unit with electric motors, control arms, springs and shock absorbers weighs a mere 1220 kilograms. Compared to other solutions with a central electric motor, the ZF solution means a weight reduction of 500 kilograms. In other words, 500 kilograms less that have to be moved. This also saves energy that can be converted into a greater drive range.
Just as valuable is the portal axle’s versatility. According to Obermaier, the axle is, in principle, compatible with all drive concepts, so it can function as a hybrid together with a fuel cell or a battery or an overhead line. However, this will probably not occur because “in practice, manufacturers are increasingly focusing on all-electric drives rather than battery-electric drive configurations.”