Commercial Vehicles

ZF starts series production of transporter e-drive


The supplier ZF has started series production of the electric central drive CeTrax lite. The new driveline is suitable for use in light commercial vehicles up to 7.5 tons. ZF says it has already received orders for the CeTrax from Asia and America.

Production of the new driveline has started under the direction of ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Solutions (CVS) division in Friedrichshafen, Germany. This division was founded at the beginning of 2022 to focus more precisely on the commercial vehicle market. ZF says that the CeTrax lite exploits synergies from the development and production of electric passenger car drives, which it has adapted for use in light commercial vehicles. As a “highly integrated electric drive”, the new component is intended to support commercial vehicle manufacturers in launching electric vehicles for cities and the “last mile”.

According to the Friedrichshafen-based company, orders have already been received from Asia and North America. The supplier also mentions a concrete name: “The Japanese manufacturer Isuzu is the first customer to install the drive in the latest generation of the Isozu ELF EV light distribution truck”. ZF already presented a five-tonne electric truck prototype with the CeTrax lite on board for the Japanese market in 2019. ZF said at the time that the 5-tonne class is the most sought-after type of truck in the light commercial vehicle sector in the Japanese market.

The CeTrax lite weighs 120 kilograms and includes an electric motor, a reduction gearbox and power electronics. Peak power is rated at 150 kW and torque at 1,500 Nm. According to ZF, the compact design helps to maximise the available installation space for electrical components and batteries. The supplier says the module supports “both the architectures of conventionally powered vehicles and the electrification strategies of manufacturers” and utilises in-house developed components and group-wide e-mobility system synergies, including shared test rigs in Friedrichshafen.

“CeTrax lite is designed for quiet, emission-free inner-city transport as well as the ‘last mile’ in delivery logistics and offers maximum performance and efficiency. This e-drive is therefore an important new milestone in our ‘Next Generation Mobility’ strategy and underlines our commitment to decarbonising the industry,” says Winfried Gründler, Head of the Powertrain Systems Product Division in ZF’s CVS Division.

ZF has already had the CeTrax e-drive for heavy commercial vehicles in series production since 2020. In mid-2022, the company announced the next generation of this e-drive at an annual global technology event. The new CeTrax 2 system is said to combine a favourable power-to-weight ratio and a compact design. Series production with a global vehicle manufacturer is scheduled to begin this year.


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