ZF expands position in electromobility

ZF expands position in electromobility

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

ZF Friedrichshafen AG and the Chinese company Wolong Electric Group have agreed to establish a joint venture for the production of components and electric motors for automotive applications. With this partnership, the companies are intensifying their existing cooperation; ZF wants to widen its product portfolio and hopes to improve its competitiveness in the field of electric drive systems. With the JV, ZF plans not only to expand its value chain with key components for electric motors, but also to gain better access to the Chinese market.

The joint venture, named Wolong ZF Automotive E Motors Co Ltd, will produce electric motors and components for use in ZF driveline systems as well as for the open market. An initial success of this partnership is a major order for electric motor components for hybrid and electric drives.

ZF holds 26 percent of the shares in the joint venture based in Shangyu in the Chinese province of Zhejiang. The company expects up to 2,000 employees by 2025.

ZF also relies on cooperation in the manufacture of power electronics modules: Just a few days ago, the company inked a strategic partnership with Danish industrial company Danfoss A/S, thereby deepening the existing cooperation. Together, the partners plan to optimize power modules for demanding vehicle operation and increase their efficiency.

In the partnership, both companies will research and develop together. At the same time, Danfoss will act as supplier for the power modules. A first major milestone in this partnership is the supply contract for a major ZF project that is scheduled to go into series production in 2022. In addition to 400-volt standard applications, the two companies have started to jointly develop an 800-volt power module for a series-production project in order to position themselves at the top of this segment.

The power modules from Danfoss will also use silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors, which ZF is developing in the recently announced cooperation with semiconductor manufacturer Cree. As one of the leading manufacturers of electromobility solutions, ZF intends to further advance electric driveline technology through these strategic partnerships, which build on each other.

Related articles:

Cree, ZF jointly advance electric drive

Cree supply contract enables Infineon to flood e-mobility market with SiC devices

Continental expands electromobility activities in China

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