ZF Brings Scalable Silicon Carbide Inverter and Hairpin E-motor into Commercial Vehicles

May 6, 2022

ZF reinforces its commitment to a fully electrified future of mobility through its focus on electrifying the entire vehicle, from full systems to components. Through innovations such as its modular and scalable silicon carbide (SiC) inverter architecture, hairpin electric motor, electric powertrain and accessories (eWorX) – ZF is continuing to pave a way toward an all-electric future. ZF is showcasing these electrification technologies and more at the 2022 Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in booth 1309, May 9-12 in Long Beach, California.

As mobility moves rapidly toward an electrified future with the environmental goal of zero emissions, ZF is taking the necessary steps to accelerate the transformation through strategic investments and in-house technology development: “Within the commercial vehicle industry, ZF has a unique technology advantage, largely due to our significant investments in proprietary core competencies that enable us to offer cost-effective electrification solutions for all commercial vehicles classes,” said Christian Feldhaus, director, Driveline Systems North America, Commercial Vehicle Solutions, ZF Group. “We are making these important investments at the right time to ensure a successful future of mobility through the industry’s electrification transformation.”

Modular and Scalable Inverter Architecture

The inverter is a critical technology that drives greater scalability and modularity with increased efficiency and performance of an electric powertrain. ZF’s proprietary scalable and modular SiC inverter architecture allows customers maximum flexibility from 400V to 800V, based on latest silicon carbide technologies. This ZF inverter architecture combines next generation power semiconductors, highly intelligent software algorithms, and leverages ZF’s deep experience in electric drives to increase efficiency, performance, and shorten development cycles.

"Through our involvement as the “Official Powertrain Partner” first to Venturi and now Mahindra, in the Formula E World Championship, ZF has quickly brought to market new advanced electrification technology, which has been tested in the extreme conditions of the race series," explained Feldhaus. "The investment in Formula E accelerates the pace of advanced technology development at ZF; for example, advancements in the use of silicon carbide in our inverter, offering significantly higher efficiency at all performance levels, while increasing range and speeding up charging times."

E-motor Provides Flexibility and Performance

The modular ZF e-motor portfolio with a common electromagnetic design for the stator, an asynchronous motor (ASM) or permanent-magnet synchronous motor (PSM) design for the rotor, ranges from power classes 75 kW to 400 kW and 400 V to 800 V architectures. ZF e-motors offer superior power and torque density, efficiency, reduced noise, at automotive quality.

eWorX: Fully Electric Accessory Solutions

ZF’s newly developed product portfolio eWorX provides fully electric system solutions in a compact design, with standard interface, that simplifies the integration required for electrifying work equipment and accessories, regardless of which driveline configuration is needed. Fully electric commercial vehicles feature a significantly modified driveline architecture compared to conventional diesel-powered vehicles. This presents a new set of challenges for vehicle manufacturers when it comes to the design of power take-offs (PTOs). Among the advantages of eWorX is zero local emissions and significantly reduced noise.

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