ZF has produced two million electric motors, a significant milestone. The tech firm offers a variety of electric motors to automobile manufacturers, including hybrid and electric axle drives for electric passenger cars and electric central drives for commercial vehicles. The two million units that were generated made a substantial dent in CO2 emissions reduction.
The business released an electric motor for a high-end mild hybrid back in 2008, making it the first provider in Europe to do so in scale. As a result of technology advancements, ZF has not only increased the range of products it offers, but it has also supported the trend towards electrifying passenger car journeys in order to reduce CO2 emissions that damage the environment. This went hand in hand with enormous improvements in production capacity, particularly in recent years. Since there is such a large demand for electric mobility and an increase in call-offs, ZF has adapted.
“Our production anniversary is backed by long-term entrepreneurial decisions and innovative engineering spirit,” says Stephan von Schuckmann, member of the ZF Board of Management and responsible for Electrified Powertrain Technology.
ZF electric motors cover a broad range of applications from mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids to purely electric drive systems for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. The performance range is 50 kW to 550 kW, with torques of 75 Nm to 1,500 Nm.
ZF has consistently increased the production capabilities for electric motors at the leading facility in Schweinfurt, Germany, in order to keep up with the global expansion in the production of electric vehicles. In recent years, the company also put substantial production lines into operation in Shenyang, China, and Panevo, Serbia. Another facility is now being built in North America and is scheduled to start in 2023.
Electric motors are just one of the components that ZF offers to its customers, but it also has the know-how to supply complete systems and integrate electric motors into vehicle drives. In addition to self-developed and -produced power electronics and reduction gear units, ZF offers complete axle and central drives for fully electric drives in passenger cars and commercial vehicles.
The innovation potential of electric motors has not yet been exhausted. ZF sees essential approaches in cooling. In recent years, sophisticated cooling solutions have been introduced in addition to the classic cooling jacket with water flowing through.
“Currently we are developing a solution with oil flowing past – to directly cool the copper wire, which is the main heat source in electric motors,” explains Roland Hintringer, Head of the Electric Motors Product Line.
In view of globally increasing volumes and the high demand for electric powertrain technology, the next production milestone will be reached soon. “Our order books are well filled, the next two million units of electric motors will probably be produced in less than two years,” says Hintringer.
Over the typical passenger car service life of 15 years, if these two million ZF electric motors are used in place of car drives now powered by combustion engines, they will save approximately 45 million tons of carbon dioxide. Renewable energy sources would need to be used for 25 years for a wind farm with 80 wind turbines to achieve the same savings potential.
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