Electromobility breakthrough: ZF’s new electric 2-speed e-drive solution for the best possible range from each battery charge

Electromobility breakthrough: ZF's new electric 2-speed e-drive solution for the best possible range from each battery charge

Mehr Reichweite oder bessere Performance? Hersteller von Elektrofahrzeugen können dank seines modularen Konzepts beide Ansätze mit dem 2-Gang-Antrieb von ZF verfolgen.
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More range or better performance? Thanks to this modular concept, manufacturers of electric vehicles can pursue both approaches with the 2-speed drive from ZF.

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, 16-Jul-2019 — /EuropaWire/ — ZF announced the world premiere of its first 2-speed e-drive system meant for passenger cars. The system integrates an advanced electric motor with a shift element and appropriate power electronics. 

Extended driving range for each battery charge is achieved through the improvement in energy conversion efficiency compared to previous e-drives. Due to its compact design the new drive system is of particular interest to passenger cars in the compact class and thanks to its modular approach in the design the unit can easily be scaled up for use in sports and performance vehicles.

The passenger car sector already sees the next generation of electromobility with the introduction of ZF’s new electric 2-speed drive solution.

Commenting on the improvement in the energy conversion efficiency, Bert Hellwig, Head of System House at ZF’s E-Mobility division, said:

“For electric vehicles in everyday use, it is important to obtain as much range as possible from each battery charge. Every percent of improvement in energy conversion efficiency translates into two percent more range. Bringing together our know-how in relation to electric motors, gearboxes, and power electronics ensures that we achieve the best possible range from each battery charge.”

ZF leveraged its expertise in systems to work on and develop a new electric motor with a maximum power rating of 140 kW paired with a two-stage shift element in order to increase the performance rating of the new electric axle drive system.

Extending the range comes from the new 2-speed drive which consumes less energy as shifts take place at 70 km/h. It can extend the range of up to five percent as compared to a one-speed unit. Other shift strategies are also possible by connecting to the vehicle’s CAN communication possibly linking to digital map material and GPS. A possibly use is for the vehicle to predictively switch into Eco-mode, if it identifies from the GPS route programming how far the next charging station is. Furthermore, effective shifts will also be possible in taking into account the topography on the interstate, and on inter-city trips. Over-the-air updates are available for the software in the drive thanks to the network link to the Cloud services.

Presently, car markers can rely on two options when using the new new 2-speed drive to improve energy conversion efficiency. The OEM can either choose to go for an extended range while retaining the same size of accumulator, or utilize a smaller accumulator.

The unit is designed in a way that optimizes installation space, the 2-speed system is a perfect fit for compact passenger cars where interior space is at a premium. At the same time, the 2-speed concept offers also benefits for OEMs who are pursuing performance.

.Bert Hellwig explained further:

“Until now, with electric motors, vehicle manufacturers have had to choose between high initial torque and a high top speed. We are now resolving this conflict and the new drive will be compatible for performance and heavier vehicles – for example for passenger cars towing a trailer.”

The modular approach of ZF combines the 2-speed gearbox with even more powerful electric motors rated for up to 250 kW, which results in an enhanced acceleration and, potentially, faster top speeds. The new drive system can meet a variety of requirements with this modular concept.

Media contacts:

Frank Discher
Technology and Product Communications
phone: +49 7541 77-960770
e-mail: frank.discher@zf.com

Robert Buchmeier
Head of Technology and Product Communications, Heritage Communications
phone: +49 7541 77-2488
e-mail: robert.buchmeier@zf.com

SOURCE: ZF Friedrichshafen AG

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