In the area of e-mobility, ZF is pursuing two directions: With the variant for plug-in hybrids of its new 8-speed automatic transmission, ZF is laying the foundation for a new class of battery-electric vehicles. The hybrid system enables high purely electric driving performance and represents an equal alternative to purely battery-electric vehicles in certain applications. Provided an appropriate battery capacity is available, vehicle manufacturers can offer their customers a battery-electric passenger car with an additional combustion engine (range extender) for longer distances or higher power requirements. A modular system offers manufacturers flexibility. With its recent nomination as a global transmission supplier by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), another internationally renowned automobile OEM has now decided in favor of ZF’s new 8-speed automatic transmission after BMW.
Parallel to the hybrid drive, ZF is working on improving purely electric drivelines. An important step is the world premiere of an electric 2-speed drive for passenger cars. The compact concept development combines an electric motor with a maximum output of 140 kilowatts, a two-stage shift element, and the associated power electronics. Compared to a single-stage drive, it can increase the range per battery charge by up to 5%.
The forward-looking “Flying Carpet 2.0” chassis uses comprehensive sensors and smart algorithms to control damping, braking and steering systems. It thus decouples the vehicle body largely from road unevenness and influences of driving dynamics. In addition to comfort, dynamics and safety also increase. Particularly in the development of fully automated and autonomous driving, comfort is regarded as crucial in order to be able to use the driving time for activities such as reading or relaxing.
Its specific approach of letting vehicles “see, think, and act” makes ZF a provider of system solutions for automated driving. The manufacturer’s complete systems include sensors and the ZF ProAI central computer in several performance variants. ZF solutions for different market segments are thus scalable, flexible, and adaptable. This enables car manufacturers to meet the basic requirements of Euro NCAP 2022. Or, as ZF coPILOT, allows automated driving functions at SAE level 2+. For people or cargo movers, the ProAI RoboThink is a variant that makes levels 4 and 5, i.e. driverless driving, possible.