Commercial Vehicle Solutions
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Electric buses:

an important part of low-emission road transport

Electric buses to replace diesel buses

Electric buses to replace diesel buses

Global warming, air and noise pollution: The call for clean road transport is becoming more and more urgent. This trend is already being implemented in many areas. More and more electric cars are registered in the private sector and e-scooters are conquering the inner city areas of big cities. In public transport, electric buses are to enable climate-friendly passenger transport. This goal was defined in the EU "Clean Vehicles Directive". It outlines the following targets with regard to electric buses:
• By the end of 2025: At least 45 percent of newly registered city buses must have alternative drives.
• By the end of 2030: At least 65 percent of newly registered city buses must have alternative drives.
In this connection, the electric drive plays the greatest role, although fuel cells, biofuels and liquid gas are also included among the alternative drive options. Battery-powered buses will therefore become increasingly important in public transport.

Technological progress makes using electric buses possible

Technological progress makes using electric buses possible

Continuous technology improvement is indispensable for the effective use of battery-powered buses. A few years ago, equipping heavy commercial vehicles with electric motors would have been unthinkable. Today, a range of up to 300 kilometers can be achieved with one battery charge. Residents and road users benefit equally from the low-emission and quiet operation of electric buses. In cities, buses can also make full use of a major advantage of e-mobility. Full torque is accessible immediately after starting the bus, which is perfect for stop-and-go operation in urban areas. This helps electric buses save energy and reduce brake wear. The goal is to gradually eliminate buses with internal combustion engines from public transport. However, this does not mean that they will be replaced with new models all at once. The cost of this would simply be too high. Instead, diesel-powered buses can be retrofitted. In this connection, ZF plays a key role, since ZF-developed central drives and electric portal axles that are, for instance, installed by pepper motion GmbH, are used for retrofitting such buses.

ZF's contribution to e-mobility

ZF's contribution to e-mobility

ZF's corporate strategy "Next Generation Mobility" is actively implemented by the ZF Group. E-mobility is one of the main pillars of this vision. It contributes to making road traffic cleaner, more comfortable and more sustainable. This makes e-mobility a decisive factor when it comes to achieving the climate targets to which ZF would like to contribute.
The Group helps customers overcome the daily challenges of building and retrofitting electric buses. Communication amongst equal partners and a continuous exchange of information are essential for this to work. These two factors make it easier to understand customer requirements and to adapt products for electric buses and e-mobility applications accordingly.

ZF products support you in the area of e-mobility

ZF products support you in the area of e-mobility

ZF offers you support in many different areas of e-mobility. Live (diagnostic) data, insights and analyses are key, in particular for building, maintaining and operating electric vehicles. ZF Bus Connect can help you with this. ZF's connectivity solutions meet all e-mobility requirements:
1. Powerful gateway for any type of power/drive
2. Manufacturer-independent application
3. Scalable platform for specific e-mobility features
4. EV-specific reports
5. Implementation of chargers
However, the development of e-mobility is a long way from being complete. ZF is committed to continuously making sure that its products are state-of-the-art to take progress in road traffic to the next level.

FAQ regarding electric buses

What benefits do electric buses offer to residents and road users?

Residents and road users benefit primarily from the following factors in connection with electric buses:

  • Less exhaust gases
  • Improved air quality
  • Lower noise pollution
How are the bus batteries charged?

One approach is to charge electric buses at the depots over night. This ensures that they are fully ready for operation the next morning. Other concepts use charging stations at the individual bus stops. These allow for intermediate charging during short stops.

How do electric bus drive systems work?

At ZF, we design different drives for electric buses. Our AxTrax AVE electric portal axle, for example, can be used with different power sources:

  • Battery
  • Fuel cells
  • Overhead contact lines

Our CeTrax electric central drive, on the other hand, is the perfect choice if you want to retrofit your existing bus fleet.