ZF hybrid technology is already a compelling proposition in numerous volume production vehicles. ZF has adopted the concept of the parallel hybrid – in other words, the electric motor and combustion engine power the car's driveline in tandem. The advantage from the automotive manufacturers' perspective is that this setup can be used to simply supplement the conventional driveline rather than – as in the case of the serial and power-split hybrid – replacing it with an entirely new concept made up of other components.Thanks to ZF's modular hybrid kit, automotive manufacturers can “hybridize” their model range economically in accordance with their individual requirements.
Mild hybrid drives are ideal for eco-friendly passenger cars, not least because the combination of electric motor and combustion engine substantially reduces the vehicle's fuel consumption. The hybrid drive impressively demonstrates that with this setup efficiency does add up to agility thanks to the boost function. Economy and sporty dynamism are not necessarily mutually exclusive: After all, any fuel-efficient vehicle is transformed into a nimble athlete as soon as the electric motor in the mild hybrid version of ZF's 8-speed automatic transmission lends the combustion engine a helping hand while moving off and accelerating. The responsible electric motor is housed between the combustion engine and transmission and produces up to 15 kilowatt with over 200 newton meter of torque. Added efficiency comes courtesy of the start-stop function, which switches off the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop, and smoothly and comfortably restarts the engine as soon as the driver presses the accelerator again. Assisted by the electric motor, the combustion engine also operates within its optimum efficiency range while on the move, which has a positive impact on fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions. When the vehicle brakes, the electric motor acts as a generator and automatically charges the electric motor's battery (recuperation).
Efficient over long distances, powerful when accelerating, and all-electric capability on short journeys: the full-hybrid version of the 8-speed automatic transmission covers the full range of hybrid functions and boasts all the advantages of a standard transmission. The combustion engine and the electric motor work together effectively on the full-hybrid variant of the 8-speed automatic transmission. A separating clutch between the two power sources enables the combustion engine to be completely decoupled from the driveline, substantially reducing fuel consumption compared with the standard transmission. Vehicles with the full-hybrid transmission provide all-electric operation at various stages – such as when moving off or over short distances. The basic transmission concept does not need to be altered either for full-hybrid operation: the electric motor, clutch, torsional dampers, and hydraulics have been fitted in the basic transmission in a space-saving and efficient manner, replacing the torque converter.