Automotive supplier ZF has presented the next generation of its electric axle drives for commercial vehicles. The new AxTrax 2 drives are suitable for distribution vehicles up to 44-tonne trucks and trailers and are scheduled for production in 2024.
The AxTrax 2 will be offered in two variants: AxTrax 2 enables 210 kW of continuous power, while the AxTrax 2 dual with two integrated electric drives for heavy-duty trucks provides 380 kW of continuous power. Both models replace the engine, transmission, PTO shaft, and conventional axle to electrify commercial vehicles.
The AxTrax 2 can be used in the electric commercial vehicles themselves, as well as on a semi-trailer to turn it into an eTrailer. Installed in this way, the AxTrax 2 can also recover electrical energy during braking. This is temporarily stored in a battery and can be used by the electric axle to support the truck drive. “Recuperating energy in this way also helps to reduce fuel or energy consumption as well as carbon emissions. At the same time, the safety of the truck-trailer combination is improved,” ZF writes.
Since all important driveline components are integrated into the axle, no additional installation space is required in the vehicle. According to ZF, this can be used to enlarge the cargo or passenger compartment or to accommodate additional batteries. This increases “the manufacturer’s design flexibility for future vehicle concepts.” In addition, the new drives can be fully synchronized with key vehicle functions such as braking, ADAS and automated driving systems to improve vehicle safety and efficiency. The exchange of system information of the E-axle with digital and telematics systems via CAN bus is also possible.
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ZF’s commercial vehicle product range now includes second-generation all-electric central drives (CeTrax 2), second-generation axle drives (AxTrax 2), and individual EV components. ZF introduced the CeTrax 2 almost exactly a year ago, in July 2022.
“With our modular electric drive kit, ZF can provide customers with everything they need to electrify their commercial vehicles from last-mile delivery vehicles up to 44-ton trucks,” says Winfried Gründler, head of the Powertrain Systems product line in ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Solutions division. “Further extending ZF’s unrivalled ‘one-stop-shop’ for commercial vehicle electrification, ZF’s broad product portfolio, combined with extensive Group-wide expertise, enables the delivery of cost-efficient products that are designed to keep the total cost of ownership low.”
In the passenger car sector, ZF had recently demonstrated a new 800-volt drive and an in-house developed central thermal management system for e-vehicles in a concept car based on the Porsche Taycan.