ZF's new solutions enable easier electrification for trucks and buses

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 22 Jun 2018

German technology major ZF's new offering the AVE 130 electric portal axle and the CeTrax electric central drive for city buses, which will allow OEMs to choose between conventional low-floor and high-floor platforms as well as low-entry buses for electrically powered models, which makes the electrification of vehicle fleets more economical and convenient.

The hybrid version of the ZF TraXon commercial vehicle transmission utilises previously unused power savings potential at maximum output. 

With stricter emission limits and restrictions on fine dust pollution, passenger car manufacturers and public transport operators are investing heavily into system integration and development for reducing the emissions.

ZF’s 18-meter articulated bus is equipped with two of the proven AVE 130 electric portal axles, with a total of four motors providing powerful thrust. ZF offers this axle in a more complete package, which includes advanced inverters, drive control and full power electronics all fully integrated. The company thus guarantees optimal energy efficiency – and a larger range. For sufficient power, a standard articulated bus only needs one driven AVE 130 electric portal axle.


ZF claims that the installation space required for the AVE 130 is about the same as that of a conventional portal axle, thus, letting manufacturers develop their own chassis platforms for electric mobility solutions The AVE 130 can be combined with the most conventional power source, including batteries, supercaps, fuel cells or even overhead lines. It is also suitable for serial hybrid and plug-in versions.

'Plug-and-Drive' with CeTrax



ZF is also offering the new electric CeTrax central drive as a system solution for low-floor and high-floor buses. CeTrax is built on a plug-and-drive approach, so it can be integrated into existing vehicle platforms without having to make major changes to the chassis, axles, statics or differential. ZF is, therefore, turning to manufacturers that plan to switch from existing conventional models to electrically powered models as part of their platform strategy. CeTrax is configured with a maximum output of up to 300 kW and a maximum torque of 4,400 Newton meters. ZF claims that the delivery scope of the system package also covers drive control and inverters. Thus, manufacturers get an optimally fine-tuned total solution when it comes to performance, efficiency and service life. ZF is also going to handle the homologation and testing of the drive system. Apart from being used in buses, CeTrax is also suitable for the electrification of delivery trucks. 

TraXon Hybrid: Parallel hybrid for long-haul transport logistics


The TraXon Hybrid, equipped with an electric motor positioned between the combustion engine and the transmission, allows hybrid functions in heavy commercial vehicles. in generator mode, the hybrid module can also supply power to other units, such as during refrigerated transports. In addition to being installed in trucks, the TraXon Hybrid is also promoted as ideal for coaches, where the hybrid drive can offer the same advantages.

Tags: ZF