Commercial Vehicles

ZF central drive for electric buses enters serial production


With the start of series production in Q3/2020, the CeTrax electric central drive will be ZF’s second electric drive for EVs and will be made in Friedrichshafen. The Polish bus manufacturer Solaris is one of the first major customers.

Until then, ZF was known as a supplier for bus manufacturers with its AxTrax AVE portal axle. Now, the company is expanding its portfolio by another e-drive, which is suitable for vehicle conversions on the one hand, but which OEMs will be able to install in their new buses in the future. “The start of series production of the electric central drive for buses illustrates the pioneering role ZF is playing in electrification,” says Dr Andreas Grossl, Senior Vice President of the Axle and Transmission Systems for Buses division at ZF. CeTrax is another building block on the way to emission-free local public transport.

ZF had initially presented the now production-ready central drive to the public for the first time in 2017 – at that time in a ZF test vehicle. The energy for the motor can come from various sources, i.e. a battery, overhead line, or super caps. Moreover, the Friedrichshafen-based company emphasizes that it can also be integrated into a fuel cell configuration.

As one of the first customers, ZF names the Polish manufacturer Solaris, who wants to install the CeTrax in its new model, the Urbino 15 LE electric. According to an earlier announcement by Solaris, the drive will drive the middle axle with an output of 300 kW.

Further customer ramp-ups are in preparation, ZF assures. It is already known that the Belarusian vehicle manufacturer MAZ will use the CeTrax in its first electric bus MAZ 303E10. In addition, the conversion specialist e-troFit is cooperating with ZF to convert diesel buses to electric drives using both electric public transport drive solutions from ZF.


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