Friedrichshafen/Frankfurt a. M. As a pioneer of sustainable mobility, ZF is continuing to pursue its strategic goal of Vision Zero – zero emissions, zero accidents. At the IAA 2019, ZF will present market-ready solutions that immediately reduce CO2 emissions in road traffic, with the highlight being EVplus, ZF’s concept for a next-generation plug-in hybrid. Its purely electric range of more than 100 kilometers makes it an electric vehicle suitable for everyday use. The internal combustion engine is only used on the rare occasions of long-distance travel. E-mobility is therefore possible in day-to-day use for a broad group of customers with just a single family car. In addition, ZF supplies systems for new mobility solutions such as autonomous electric shuttles for city centers. These can help convince people to change their existing habits in order to take advantage of new and environmentally friendly mobility options.
“Individual mobility is one of the achievements that has significantly improved our quality of life in recent decades. ZF stands for technical progress that preserves mobility and thus freedom of movement by making it clean, safe, and affordable for present and future generations,” says Wolf-Henning Scheider, Chief Executive Officer of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, at the IAA 2019. “After all, setting incentives and accompanying customers on their journey into electromobility can offer greater solution potential than bans, regulations, and asking people to do without mobility, especially in the short term.”
The technology company brings together its commitment to sustainability and climate protection with the requirements for people-friendly mobility. ZF is making this clear at the IAA with its #MobilityLifeBalance initiative that was launched in July. The vision of this initiative is a world in which people have access to mobility services that fit in well with their outlook on life. ZF is investing heavily in innovative technologies that help reduce CO2 emissions and improve road safety. All products and technologies exhibited at the ZF trade fair booth contribute to reducing emissions or increasing the safety of all road users.
No need for range anxiety with PHEV – the electric car for every occasion
ZF is demonstrating at the IAA that plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) can be seen as true electric vehicles: The ZF EVplus concept vehicle can travel more than 100 kilometers solely on electrical power – under real-life conditions. The higher electrical range ensures local emission-free driving on routes taken daily. At the same time, the engine takes away the range anxiety that besets drivers, helping to dispel existing reservations about the purchase of electric vehicles. As a consequence, PHEV vehicles could rapidly ensure that more journeys are covered entirely in electric mode, reducing local CO2-emissions in road traffic.
With EVplus, inner cities can also be accessed in purely electric mode, eliminating local nitrogen oxide emissions and achieving substantially lower fine particulate concentrations. The discussion about driving bans and the resulting reduced mobility will therefore be resolved over the long term. Corresponding driving strategies and control mechanisms – geofencing, to be precise – can ensure that travel is purely electric in urban areas.
New mobility concepts: more sustainable and customer-friendly
The next technological step toward prevention of CO2 emissions in inner-city traffic will be self-driving taxis and the relatively new segment of ride-hailing services in general. With intelligently controlled and autonomously operating vehicle fleets, fewer individual cars are required, especially in urban areas, without passengers having to do without being conveniently taken directly to the desired destination. ZF is relying on a concept of separate lanes for such vehicles – that is, zones in which autonomous vehicles can already be operated today with less complexity and without legal restrictions.
By providing such lanes for automatic shuttle services, cities and municipalities can contribute to rapid application of available technology in city centers, making it possible to reduce their pollution levels. In addition to the aspect of environmental friendliness of the vehicles, their low operating costs also speak in favor of the concept. This way, public transport can be offered more cost-effectively than is possible at the moment with existing concepts.
Over the next five years, ZF anticipates strong market growth of 1.5 million vehicles worldwide in this segment. The technology company is contributing to this growth by providing intelligent control electronics, chassis technology including electric drives, and active and passive safety systems.