This is the third major order for ZF to announced within a few weeks: The supplier from Lake Constance is supplying Daimler with large parts of the drive system for the Mercedes EQC. Previously, BMW and Fiat Chrysler had ordered hybrid transmissions worth billions.
ZF confirmed the Mercedes order to local media sources. ZF CEO Wolf-Henning Scheider told a local newspaper that one of the “very large orders for electromobility” had been won and that ZF is the driveline supplier for Mercedes-Benz in the new EQC. Scheider did not want to name the scope of the project, as “the customer has the right to name the details”.
According to Scheider, ZF supplies the complete driveline module. In addition to the engine, this includes the rigid transmission (a single-speed transmission) and also the power electronics including the control software – each for the front and rear axle, since the EQC has two engines. The components are manufactured at the ZF plant in Schweinfurt. The location (and headquarters of the electric mobility division) was recently expanded by the Group to include a new, state-of-the-art building with testing facilities.
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In the interview, Scheider also spoke about the future role of electromobility in the Group – ZF had so far publicly advocated plug-in hybrids in particular. Many industry observers had rated this as an attempt to be able to use the Group’s know-how for longer in the complex multi-speed transmissions for combustion engines. Meanwhile, this sounds more moderate: “ZF drives on two tracks. We see the hybrid as an important technology for the coming decades,” says Scheider. “In comparison, the battery-electric vehicle is currently ideal for the city. And if the share of green electricity increases in the next few years, its overall CO2 balance will continue to improve”.
The ZF CEO issued an indirect rejection of fuel cell cars, which is still favoured in politics and economy. When asked how many investments can we afford in parallel technologies, he answered: “I clearly see plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars for passenger cars,” said Scheider. “We have to help them achieve their breakthrough. And we must not unsettle customers with even more drives.”
Just at the beginning of the month, the third-largest German supplier announced that Fiat Chrysler had placed a major order with ZF for automatic transmissions with hybrid components after BMW. Together with the order from BMW, the order volume adds up to between 15 to 20 billion euros – ZF did not mention exact figures.
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