Wapcar Automotive News – ZF introduces a new electric powertrain for passenger cars and light commercial cars. This latest generation of electric motors improves power density and energy efficiency through numerous innovations at the component and system level. These include the drive’s compact design, power electronics and use of resource-efficient materials, which also make drive production more sustainable.
Thanks to the modular concept, the new ZF electric motor helps automakers customize the electrification of their entire vehicle range. For the end customer, new technologies deliver greater efficiency, more power, and faster charging times. ZF’s new generation of electric drives is based on a modular overall concept with an integrated electric motor, inverter, gearbox and software. With a high level of interface expertise and strategic driving know-how, ZF’s application engineers can perfectly meet customer requirements. However, the team will also provide individual innovative components, based on its own system solution.
Thanks to sophisticated internal interfaces, the new ultra-compact design makes it easy to tweak the system or components. In addition, the design has very high structural rigidity, allowing for superior acoustic performance. The following component-level innovations contribute to the enhanced overall system:
Power electronics manage a balance between a high degree of component homogeneity and high adaptability. Personalization happens at the chip level:
The discrete structure ZF inverter is built with individual power semiconductor switches. This module provides better performance scalability than complex source modules. In addition, ZF’s “Removable Package Technology” requires fewer types of components than using conventional power modules.
With a new highly integrated electric motor, ZF increases the energy density compared to existing technology on the market. A new cooling concept and new coil technology play a decisive role here. Thanks to the new cooling concept, ZF allows oil to flow directly around the copper rods, exactly at the point where most of the heat is generated during operation. Such highly efficient cooling provides a significant increase in performance with the same weight and installation space. The continuous power of the electric motor is increased to 85% of the maximum power.
In addition, the heavy use of rare earths can be largely eliminated and electric motors can therefore be produced more sustainably. The braided coil technology developed by ZF, a further evolution of the hairpin type coil, allows for 10% less total installation space. The coil tip alone is already about 50% smaller than conventional methods. This means about 10% less raw material is processed.
With the new coaxial transmission, ZF transfers its know-how to the production of planetary gearboxes to the next generation of electric drives. The two integrated planetary gears not only produce the desired shaft ratio, but also include a fully integrated differential function. Compared with conventional offset designs, the new solution reduces weight and installation space requirements without compromising efficiency, noise and vibration.
The high voltage converter (DC-DC converter) plays a central role in the electric drive of the fuel cell. They compensate for the low output voltage and high voltage drop at high load of the fuel cell. The new high voltage converter from the ZF power electronics platform, developed for passenger cars and commercial vehicles, has a maximum efficiency value of 99.6%.