One third of the Class 4-8 commercial vehicle market in the U.S. and Canada will migrate to battery-electric solutions in the next 10 years, according to a recent study by ACT Research.
ZF is helping enable that migration by addressing the industry’s need for clean and efficient technology in conventional and electrified vehicles with its portfolio of solutions, which the company recently showcased during the 2021 Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, Calif.
“With the successful integration of WABCO, ZF offers our customers an unparalleled level of eMobility systems expertise that will help the industry meet its goals for a clean and efficient future,” said Christian Feldhaus, ZF’s director of commercial vehicle driveline technology in North America. “We are committed to innovate and expand solutions for the North American commercial vehicle market as it moves toward electrification and the next generation of mobility.”
ZF’s product offerings include the AxTrax electric axle and the CeTrax electric central drive, which support OE greenhouse gas (GHG) challenges. “We are nearing 1million miles of real-world experience with AxTrax on the Freightliner eCascadia with tremendous results,” Feldhaus said. “We’re pleased to announce that by 2023, ZF will progressively launch a complete modular next generation of electric drives, with axle and central drives for pickups, trucks, and buses of up to 100,000 pounds—and a major North American OE will launch in the same year.”
ZF said its all-new electric drives will offer up to 360 kW of continuous power for battery electric or fuel cell electric vehicles.
As a near-term technology evolution, ZF announced in February it is investing $200 million in North American commercial vehicle transmission manufacturing at its South Carolina transmission facility. Multiple North American customers have signed multi-year contracts, the company said, and while U.S. production will begin in 2023, PowerLine is on U.S. roads today.
“While eMobility is presenting itself at a fast pace, conventional automatic transmissions should not be overlooked as they continue to play a significant role supporting OEs to meet GHG targets for the next decades,” Feldhaus said. “PowerLine can help generate fuel savings of more than 10% and is package protected for mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) platforms, supporting the industry transformation to a fully electrified future.”
The efficiency of PowerLine is being proven in everyday operation by North American fleets, ZF added. In addition to the company’s advanced driveline solutions, whether automatic transmissions or ZF’s full eDrive portfolio, it also offers electric power steering, advanced air management, and braking system technology, creating synergies and developing technologies that electrify commercial vehicle systems.
ZF’s electric commercial vehicle system solutions include:
- ZF electric power steering helps achieve more fully electrified vehicle architectures
- ZF advanced air management now is available for North American applications, and combines decades of expertise to bring highly efficient and intelligent air management solutions to the market to minimize energy use and fuel consumption, and reduce emissions
- Electronic Air Compressor, e-comp, provides an efficient solution for the new generation of electric, hybrid and fuel cell commercial vehicles
- Electronic Air Processing, eSystem Saver, solutions intelligently and efficiently control the air management system to improve fuel economy, drying performance, and air quality