Knorr-Bremse is pooling its expertise in electric transport with a new, in-house development unit called eCUBATOR. Up to 60 internal and external experts will work on electric commercial vehicle solutions at the Munich and Budapest sites.
With this view to new electric commercial vehicles, Knorr-Bremse is working on energy management systems, electromechanical actuators and enhanced vehicle stabilisation and drive functions, among other things. In these fields, Knorr-Bremse wants to position itself for the next generation of electric commercial vehicles, which they say will come onto the market from around 2025. Subsidiary Kiepe Electric is also focusing on emission-free public transport and the development and installation of complete electrical systems.
The eCUBATOR is described by the company as “an agile think tank for future EV system integration.” This development unit should offer an agile working environment with cross-functional teams and flat hierarchies. Knorr is aiming to gather expertise to bundle technical experience and interdisciplinary know-how and offer space for thinking outside the box. Solutions are to be found specifically for electric commercial vehicles. These are then to be developed in close collaboration with customers, technology partners and startups. As Knorr-Bremse explains, talks are already underway with potential cooperation partners.
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“For us the electrification of commercial vehicles is one of the major trends of the commercial vehicle industry in which we intend to participate,” says Dr Peter Laier, Member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG responsible for the Commercial Vehicle Systems division. “The underlying goal is to support our customers with the electrification of their commercial vehicles.”
The eCUBATOR should enable the company to adapt the existing product portfolio to the mobility requirements of electric drives and at the same time, to identify and develop growth opportunities for Knorr-Bremse.
Knorr-Bremse already offers several products for electric commercial vehicles, such as screw compressors and components for brake blending. Specific solutions at subsidiary Kiepe Electric include the Kiepe Traction Inverter (KTI), a fleet management system called KFM and a fleet energy management system called SFM. In addition, Kiepe Electric offers In Motion Charging (IMC) technology for flexible trolleybus transport. The latter is used in Linz, Milan and Modena as well as in the US state of Ohio.
With reporting by Cora Werwitzke
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