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Electric Drives by ZF: The Compact Power Package

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Tags: ZeroEmissions
The whole is more than the sum of its parts – Aristotle, the first systematist among the philosophers, had this insight some 2,500 years ago.
Stefan Schrahe, March 31, 2021
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Stefan Schrahe has been writing about everything four-wheeled for three decades now. In his leisure time, he enjoys traveling by bike - though he also prefers motorized ones.
It is also true for a system supplier like ZF that complete systems generate an added value that goes beyond the properties of their individual components. A new electric driveline based on 800 volts, which will go into series production in 2021, is a strong reason for choosing ZF’s complete, all-electric driveline solution. ZF is very familiar with complete solutions for electric drives. For example, the mSTARS concept presented in 2017 for hybrid or battery vehicles integrates a powerful electric drive into the rear axle and can even be supplemented with the AKC active rear axle steering system. In the commercial vehicle and bus segment, the integrated drives AVE as electric portal axle and CeTrax as electric central drive have proven themselves for years.

Combination of all the advantages

Combination of all the advantages
As a compact power pack, the new electric drive combines the advantages of innovative technologies with sophisticated power electronics. It features a strong e-motor, delivering up to 200 kW, a differential, a reduction gearbox, drive shafts, a parking lock and, of course, the power electronics and respective engine control software – all from a single source. Compared with current concepts, the improved efficiency results in up to seven percent more range. This means that, with the same range profile, system costs can be significantly reduced. This is because the demands on the drive battery are reduced. The main reason for the increased efficiency is the silicon carbide technology of the power semiconductors with significantly lower switching losses during acceleration and deceleration.

Short charging times for long distances

Short charging times for long distances
The electric vehicles that will be equipped with ZF's new electric drive starting in 2021 can be charged with over 350kW thanks to the innovative 800-volt technology. This means that even very long driving distances can be covered with short interruptions for recharging, over time reducing the gap between e-charging time and the time it takes today to refuel a combustion vehicle. In about 20-30 minutes, enough electrical energy for the next 300 kilometers flows into the drive batteries at every charging stop, thanks to 800-volt technology. This also has a positive effect on the cost and weight of fully electric vehicles.
Maximum torque of up to
3200 newton meters

Significantly better performance at partial loads and perfect response are among the advantages, as is the maximum torque of up to 3,200 newton meters. The compact design also speaks in favor of the new generation of electric drives. The gear set and electric motor are located in one housing, and the power inverter and drive shafts are integrated – and all that with lower weight.
All the innovative ingredients of the new electric drive – power electronics, e-motor and transmission – are, of course, also available as individual components.

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