This means that the I.E-Axle combines digitalization with electromobility, another core competency of ZF. ZF is ahead of the pack in the electrification of vehicles – whether they are pedelecs, formula racing cars, or city buses. The electric passenger car axle drive is an example of how the Group is contributing toward cleaner and sustainable road traffic. This year, it enters volume production with a German manufacturer of premium passenger cars. “However, in future, our customer base will consist not only of OEMs but also of providers of ride-hailing and mobility-as-a-service solutions. They will take advantage of the opportunities of digitalization in very different ways,” states Julian Fieres, Head of Strategy and Sales in the ZF Electromobility division. “We therefore wanted to ensure that our electric drives are more than just technology leaders – they must also provide added value in the form of digital services.”
Accordingly, the electric passenger car axle drive now constitutes the basis for the I.E-Axle. The concept is as simple as it is ingenious: Using a bidirectional connection to an IoT platform, the I.E-Axle collects data about the drive and parking brake, senses overvoltages and overcurrent, measures acceleration values, and monitors the temperature of the electric motor and power electronics. At the same time, it is possible via this connection to directly actuate the power electronics and the inverter that act as the brain of the drive. Furthermore, software updates for the vehicle and driveline can be downloaded wireless, by over-the-air (OTA) technology, which saves the need for costly and time-consuming workshop visits.