German parts maker ZF has launched a two-speed electric axle drive system for passenger cars. The drive, which integrates an electric motor with a shift element and power electronics, is compatible with standard-sized and compact cars. The modular design enables it to be scaled up for sports vehicles, according to the company, allowing manufacturers to select between emphasis on efficiency or performance.
To increase the system’s performance rating, ZF developed an electric motor with a maximum power rating of 140 kW coupled with a two-stage shift element. The two-speed drive extends range by up to five percent, according to ZF. The system can connect to a vehicle’s CAN communication bus for added shift strategies designed to conserve energy depending on topography and distance to the nearest charging station.
Bert Hellwig, Head of System House at ZF’s E-Mobility division, said, “Until now, with electric motors, vehicle manufacturers have had to choose between high initial torque and a high top speed. We are now resolving this conflict and the new drive will be compatible for performance and heavier vehicles – for example for passenger cars towing a trailer.”