ZF Friedrichshafen, well-known throughout the automotive industry for their innovative products, recently announced the release of a new hybrid transmission. Even though the company had announced earlier that their current generation of transmissions for hybrid cars would be their last, they have changed their plans. The CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen, Wolf-Henning Scheider, recently announced that the company is pursuing one more iteration of transmissions for its hybrid cars. The current transmissions released for hybrid cars by them have already been well-received, so the new generation is sure to follow proudly in the footsteps of its predecessors.
How Will Distance Improve in Hybrid Cars?
Scheider firmly believes that hybrids and electric cars will eventually be a popular option for family cars when it comes to long-distance traveling. One of the issues with electric cars right now is that the battery often isn’t capable of traveling hundreds of miles without recharging. They seek to change this with their new transmission. Also, they have announced that their new technology, termed EVplus technology, will be capable of traveling 62 miles in a full-electric mode before having to tap into the internal combustion engine for longer distances. This type of hybrid transmission translates into reduced fuel consumption, reduced emissions, and a more convenient vehicle for families everywhere. According to their research, about 75 percent of the average person’s driving needs could be handled in a full-electric mode with a limit of 62 miles. Currently, most plug-in hybrids have a limit of around 30 miles. This new technology, which offers reduced fuel consumption, means cost-savings for the average driver.
The EVplus solution, with a plug-in hybrid technological feature, is an improvement over ZF Friedrichshafen’s current eight-speed automatic transmission. With a fully integrated electric transmission, the maximum output of this novel hybrid solution will be 160 kW, or more than 215 horsepower. The current generation has a maximum output of 100 kW, or about 130 horsepower. Therefore, this new technology represents a significant upgrade over its predecessor.
Will There be an Increase in Demand for Hybrid Transmissions?
Despite the new regulations and reduction in incentives for hybrid technology across Europe, there is still a high demand for hybrid vehicles across the world. With reduced fuel costs and reduced emissions, many people see the benefit of owning a hybrid. ZF Friedrichshafen shares this vision. Their estimates show that the demand for hybrid drives will increase tenfold over the next few years. For this reason, the company is planning on investing more than 800 million euros over the next four years in its main plan, located in Germany. Currently, the company produces eight-speed transmission in its main plant for a number of different popular car brands. A few of the examples include Land Rover, Audi, and BMW along with Porsche and Bentley. Should their technology and demand meet its projections, this new hybrid transmission will likely expand into other popular vehicle lines as well.