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ZF Japan has set up an electric driveline unit for a truck prototype designed specially for the Japanese market. This project is an example of the company’s claim “ZF electrifies everything”.
Shiho Okabe ,
Shiho Okabe Assistant Manager Shiho is a member of the ZF communications team in Japan.
Local for local is one of the basic principles of the global player ZF. This means developing and producing in the markets for the markets. One of the company’s latest examples in this regard is its electric demo truck in Japan – designed particularly for the local market.

It all started in ZF’s Japan Tech Center (JTC) in Yokohama. JTC has two advanced engineering groups focused on e-mobility.
One team takes care of the research for power electronics technology, the other of e-driveline technology. As a result of market investigations, latter team engaged in the implementation of an electric driveline on a light commercial vehicle (LCV). “This demo truck fulfills unique requirements in Japan, a country characterized by high population density concentrated in few megacities”, said Robert T. Seidler, Head of R&D at ZF Japan.

Electric light commercial vehicle for local market needs

What is the idea behind this prototype truck and why this size? This vehicle is made by replacing a conventional internal combustion engine driveline with ZF's CeTrax lite. The electric engine that generates 150kW and 380Nm is built in a truck with a 5-ton gross vehicle weight and load capacity of 2 tons. This type of vehicle is the most common LCV in Japan.

The benefits of a fully electric LCV are convincing. It contributes local zero emissions and has a silent operation, and furthermore meets the needs of Japanese LCV manufacturers and fleet operators. These needs include delivery to 24-hour stores in residential areas both early in the morning and late at night, frequent stop-and-go style driving to fill drinks in vending machines, parcel home deliveries, and so on. The driveline has enough power, compactness, and energy efficiency to make the CeTrax lite a unique sales proposition to Japanese customers.
This prototype truck is made by replacing the conventional internal combustion engine driveline with ZF's CeTrax lite.

“Our demo truck contributes to ZF’s strategy “Next Generation Mobility” in terms of clean and safe mobility, comfort and affordability. It also supports our customers with their aspirations for meeting the requirements of next generation mobility”, says Seidler and adds: “We expect to go ahead with our additional technology such as electrical steering, integrated brake control, ADAS functions just to name a few along the road towards automated driving.”