The giant German automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen is presenting at Auto China their plans for its new E-Mobility Division in the Chinese market. At the start of 2016, ZF combined all activities regarding e-mobility solutions within the new division, whose focus is to develop and produce highly-integrated solutions worldwide; from hybrid to all-electric axle drives for passenger cars. The portfolio also includes electronic transmission control units and their associated control elements. With this, ZF is leading the way to becoming one of the leading e-mobility suppliers in China by 2020.
“By bringing all activities relating to the electrification of cars and commercial vehicles under one roof, we are giving a clear message to the market in terms of the huge significance of these future technologies,” says ZF CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer. "E-mobility is coming – and may be closer than we think given the current debate on car emissions and legal limits." The new E-division and its corporate structure shows how seriously ZF is taking the step-change from conventional drive technology to e-mobility, according to Sommer.
The Electronic Systems and Electric Traction Drive business units form the core of the new E-Mobility division. The division also includes an ‘E-Mobility system house‘, which bundles various e-mobility projects from the entire ZF Group.
"With many automotive markets worldwide, e-mobility is still a niche market," says Jörg Grotendorst, Head of the new ZF E-Mobility Division. "However, this will quickly change when lawmakers introduce stricter international emissions limits in the coming years." The demand for electrically-powered vehicles will also grow rapidly in China; a growth market where ZF can play a part: "We want to be one of the leading e-mobility suppliers in China by 2020," states Grotendorst. With this goal, the division has already established sales and development structures, and the on-site team, which benefits from the ZF Group's existing strong presence in China, will be further expanded in the coming years. The objective is to localize in regards to developing and producing solutions required by the market.
ZF opened its first manufacturer-independent plant in Germany for electric passenger car drives in 2008 and since then has continued to expand its e-mobility portfolio. In addition to electric motors, hybrid transmissions, transmission control units and control elements, ZF will also produce all-electric drives in the future, which will enter volume production for a European vehicle manufacturer in 2018. The Group develops and produces power electronics in-house, and so is able to offer (customers) the full spectrum of technologies in terms of e-mobility, from individual components to the complete drive system. In contrast, ZF does not view battery technology among its technical competencies. ZF also offers electric drive solutions for commercial vehicles including buses and heavy trucks.