Modular e-drive kit slashes development time

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The eDrive Kit bundles ZF’s offerings for system solutions, components and software controls in a flexible and modular platform. A key advantage of the consistent modular approach is shorter development times. ZF promises that products can be brought to market up to 50 percent faster.

The Modular eDrive Kit is suitable for different vehicle segments: configurations with e-machines from 75 to 400 kW output and from 350 to 540 Nm torque are possible, and can be designed for maximum performance and efficiency. For example, the kit can cover everything from compact cars, with a 100 kW drive and 400 V inverter, to the premium segment, with a 200 kW and 800 V inverter based on silicon carbide, and thus offers the greatest possible spread – depending on whether the focus is on cost efficiency or technological leadership. Because the system design, construction, software, electric motor concept, cooling and some components are developed across platforms, synergy effects and a higher degree of maturity are achieved right from the start. The basic package is based on proven ZF series technology and can be quickly supplemented or exchanged depending on specific customer requirements.

The Modular eDrive Kit comprises three power classes as well as the “Premium” (800V SiC) and “Basic” (400V) segments. Three e-drives, whose experience is incorporated into the Modular eDrive Kit, are about to go into series production: a “Low” drive solution below 100 kW, a “Mid” drive solution up to 200 kW – both based on ASM or PSM machines and an inverter with 400-volt technology – as well as a “High” solution with an output of over 200 kW, which will go into series production in the second half of 2022 and combines a PSM machine with a silicon carbide-based inverter on 800-volt technology.

The energy efficiency of the Modular eDrive Kit can be increased by a further module: ZF eConnect is a flexible solution for all-wheel drive vehicles. The installation space-neutral system leaves the second axle uncoupled in an energy-saving manner as long as it is not needed. This reduces mechanical drag losses by up to 90 %. However, if required, eConnect can engage the second drive within milliseconds via a claw coupling without any losses. eConnect promises an efficiency increase of significantly more than 2% compared to the best comparative system currently on the market, the vendor claims.

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