ZF and Danfoss ink strategic partnership for R&D and power modules

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 14 Nov 2019


ZF Friedrichshafen and Danfoss Silicon Power, a subsidiary of the Danfoss Group, the largest industrial company in Denmark, have stepped up their existing cooperation with a new strategic partnership for silicon- and silicon-carbide power modules. The partners plan to improve the efficiency of electric drivelines by leveraging engineering and cost benefits at the interface between power modules and inverters.

“This is a robust long-term partnership that enables ZF and Danfoss to pool their strengths. Coming together on this opens up significant innovation potential to improve the technical and commercial competitiveness of our inverters. We will utilise this advantage in all our drivetrain applications, from hybrid up to full electric applications," said Jörg Grotendorst, Head of ZF’s E-Mobility Division.

The partnership will see the two companies engage in joint R&D, with Danfoss also supplying power modules for silicon applications. One of the first major milestones in this new initiative is a supply contract for Danfoss power modules destined for large-scale ZF volume production projects. Besides 400 Volt standard applications, the two companies have also begun co-developing an 800 Volt Silicon Carbide power module for a large volume production project, aiming to position themselves at the forefront of this new segment.

ZF’s E-Mobility division supplies electric drive systems and components, while Danfoss Silicon power GmbH (DSP) is a specialist in silicon and silicon-carbide power modules. By joining forces to produce innovative open technology solutions for e-mobility drivelines, they aim to make a vital contribution to cutting vehicle emissions. In electric and hybrid vehicles, power modules control the efficiency of the energy supply to the drive, battery and onboard electronics. This means that the development of space-saving inverters and more efficient power modules is crucial to reducing emissions over the long term.

“We are proud to join this partnership with ZF. We believe this closer cooperation between Danfoss and ZF has the potential to be a game changer for the development and innovation of future drivetrains for electrification of vehicles. Together we can enable an acceleration of the transition of the transport sector,” said Kim Fausing, CEO of the Danfoss Group.

Danfoss' power modules could also use power-chips developed by ZF in the recently announced cooperation with semiconductor specialist Cree. As one of the leading manufacturers of electromobility solutions, ZF aims to further advance electric driveline technology through the strategic partnerships.