The electric vehicle market continues to grow at a rapid pace. Consumer demand is up, and one by one OEMs are publicly committing to electric futures. According to the International Energy Agency, more than 10 million electric cars were on the world’s roads in 2020, with battery electric models driving the expansion. In the U.S., there were approximately 295,000 new electric cars registered in 2020, despite the challenges faced by the entire industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The technologies behind the shift to electric vehicles are also evolving at a record clip. Suppliers throughout the industry are developing innovative solutions that make electric vehicles more appealing to consumers and combat some of the perceived issues with EVs, such as range anxiety and concerns about charging.
A critical technology to drive greater scalability and modularity with increased efficiency and peak power of an e-motor is the inverter. It is the brain of electric drivetrains and manages the flow of energy from battery to e-motor and vice versa.
ZF, a leading innovator in the race to electric, has developed a scalable and modular inverter architecture that allows OEMs maximum flexibility from 400V to 800V, from Silicon-to-Silicon Carbide. This new inverter architecture combines advanced inverter design, next generation power semiconductors and highly intelligent software algorithms to help optimize pulse patterns and switching strategies in real time to improve efficiency and peak power.
In addition to the highly scalable approach, the clever usage of software and semiconductor advancements for inverters are key enablers for the ZF "Modular eDrive Kit" that helps to reduce the development time for new e-drives by up to 50%. This kit bundles the entire expertise of ZF's e-mobility team for system solutions, components, and software controls in a flexible and modular platform.
The innovations based on the platform are being readied for next-generation e-drives that are targeted for production by 2025.
Electrifying the powertrain to achieve environmental benefits has been a longtime goal of ZF. ZF has been working toward the transition to alternative powertrain technologies for decades and has gained deep knowledge on the inner workings of e-drives, from the holistic design of e-drive systems to software optimization linked to new power semiconductor generations.
How did we get there and how will we go even further? Just as the inverter is the brain of the eDrive, ZF is using its talented and highly knowledgeable Electrified Powertrain team to help advance state-of-the-art technology. In line with the incredible growth of the EV market, ZF is growing as well. We are looking for new talented technical innovators across all disciplines to continue this exciting work. We are seeking engineers and technicians in all major functions as the industry looks to tackle the challenges of the electric future.
ZF is proud to electrify all forms of mobility: from light to heavy vehicles, from autonomous shuttles to off-road vehicles – so the opportunities are virtually endless. Visit zf.com/careers for details on specific positions and follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date on the latest news and available opportunities.