Where many car manufacturers dropped out, the major suppliers have fortunately remained loyal to the IAA. It is precisely they who show in Munich with which developments they want to shape mobility in the future. ZF, one of the largest suppliers to the automotive industry, will even have a strong presence at the IAA Mobility 2021. The company, which originates from the ‘Zeppelin city’ of Friedrichshafen, has a blue and white zeppelin flying over Munich.
The future is electric and autonomous, according to ZF
If it is up to ZF, the future of mobility is fully electric and autonomous. “We see a will for change in society and, in the process, a new relationship with mobility,” said Wolf-Henning Scheider, CEO of ZF. By 2030, Scheider said, “there will be more electric-powered cars on the road than combustion engine models.” Scheider is also optimistic about the future when it comes to the development of plug-in hybrid models. “In many parts of the world, this technology will play an important role well beyond 2030.”
Much shorter development time
ZF will be presenting the new “Modular eDrive Kit” at the fair itself. This modular platform should halve the development time for new electric vehicles. That’s not all, the platform also includes a new e-Connect solution. This makes four-wheel drive possible and also saves energy at the same time. The Modular eDrive Kit enables systems with 400 and 800 volts and a wide variety of drivetrains. It is suitable for electric motor configurations from 75 to 400 kW. In addition, configurations for both maximum performance and maximum efficiency are possible. The system design, construction, software, electric motor, cooling and some components have been developed across platform
Two segments, three power classes
The Modular eDrive Kit includes three performance classes and also distinguishes between the Premium (800 volts, SiC technology) and Basic (400 volts) segments. In addition, there are three e-drives: a low-drive solution below 100 kW, a mid-drive solution up to 200 kW – both based on ASM or PSM machines and an inverter with 400 volt technology – and a high-drive solution with more than 200 kW and a PSM machine combined with a SiC charging system for 800 volts. The kit can be used, for example, for compact cars with an output of up to 100 kW and a 400-volt system, as well as for premium cars with a 200 kW powertrain and an 800-volt system with SiC technology.
More efficient four-wheel drive with e-Connect
A mechanical clutch for four-wheel drive is also possible. eConnect can thus increase the energy efficiency of the drive system of a vehicle with four-wheel drive. The coupling of the two drives is mechanical, via a claw coupling. As long as the second drive is not required, the corresponding shaft is disengaged. Such a mechanical coupling between the two electric axles is of course intended for real off-road vehicles that only have one electric motor. The system is approximately two percent more efficient than the best comparable system currently available on the market, according to ZF.