ZF Friedrichshafen AG has announced that its hybrid drive system, incorporating a compact electric motor and 8-speed automatic transmission, has now entered volume production and will feature in BMW’s X5 xDrive40e.
Vehicles can now be driven purely electrically with zero local emissions over comparably long distances and significantly faster, stated the company. As a result, the standard cycle according to ECE 101 shows fuel reductions of up to 70% depending on the capacity of the battery system. The BMW X5 will be the first model worldwide to feature the new ZF plug-in hybrid in volume production.
“Electrifying the driveline is an essential means for ZF to further increase efficiency and significantly reduce emissions,” stated Dr Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG. “As plug-in hybrid vehicles become more prolific, consumers are exposed to the performance capability of hybrid technology in general, for which we expect demand to increase for a long time, and our plug-in hybrid transmission in particular. It makes individual mobility more environmentally friendly, more dynamic, and also more sustainable, and is completely suitable for everyday use at the same time.”
Despite its compact dimensions the electric motor is stated as being very strong, with the BMW X5 model providing a maximum power of 83 kW (113 HP) and a torque of 250 Nm from a standstill. This allows the vehicle to be driven purely electrically at a speed of up to 120 km/h and within a range of 31 kilometres.
The electric motor is integrated fully into the transmission housing and is cooled by atomised oil. The integrated starting element is able to transfer up to 550 Nm of starting torque and when the vehicle decelerates the electric motor is used as a generator to convert the braking energy into electric energy and to charge the battery.