ZF develops all-in-one solution for commercial vehicle PTOs

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 11 Oct 2021

ZF has showcased its new eWorX product family that enables commercial vehicle Power Take-Offs (PTOs) that are locally emission-free. With this complete solution, ZF says supports the commercial vehicle sector through its transformation to a more sustainable future.

When it comes to the electrification of commercial vehicles, the focus will not be solely on the powertrain. In this segment, around 50 percent of vehicles are additionally equipped for use as municipal vehicles, on construction sites, in depots. Currently, specialised vehicles, such as truck cranes, dump trucks or cement mixers require suitably designed PTOs that are coupled to the engine or transmission of the combustion engine drivetrain. However, because the architecture of conventional drivelines differs fundamentally from electric drivelines, familiar interfaces are no longer used, future PTOs need to be redesigned.

"This is where ZF, with its expertise as a systems supplier, can really support the industry towards its way to electrification," explains Kleber Vinhas, who has responsibility for the CV Powertrain Modules product line in ZF's Commercial Vehicle Technology Division. "With eWorX, we have simplified the integration of equipment into new platforms and are providing the market with a new standard interface for the operation of work bodies. This is a smart solution that takes us one step closer to zero emissions. With this solution, we support vehicle and body manufacturers in optimally mastering the complex challenge of electrification."

All-in-one, simple integration
The newly developed product family offers an innovative all-in-one solution to efficiently electrify PTOs for operating work equipment – regardless of the architecture used for the drive. The advantages are locally emission-free operation with significantly reduced noise, facilitating their use in cities and residential areas in particular.

The core of the system is the ZF eCubE which provides the link between the vehicle battery and the modular electric ZF ePTO which in turn drives the equipment. The eCubE contains suitable power electronics, a control unit and software packages tailored to the particular application. Seamless connection to the vehicle CAN bus integrates eWorX solutions to the vehicle's battery and energy management systems. New safety and assistance functions are also possible – as is the option to control the machines via smartphone or tablet from outside of the cab.

ZF has built an experimental electrified, remote-controllable dump truck which can also operate independently of the tractor. The prototype is currently undergoing an intensive test phase in real world conditions at ZF’s Schweinfurt location. In cooperation with various body manufacturers, further vehicles featuring solutions for electric auxiliary drives are already under construction. Extensive real-world testing of these prototypes will also be carried out by the manufacturers involved.

The first customers have already signalled their interest in eWorX, says ZF.