The city bus system AVE 130 from ZF impressively demonstrates the potential e-mobility provides for commercial vehicles today and in the future: It is both an advanced low-floor axle and a fully-fledged 250 kilowatt electric drive. It considerably reduces consumption in hybrid or purely electric configurations. Moreover, the axle can function very well as the only drive source in buses with absolutely zero local emissions. Because of this and other benefits, the AVE 130 has now secured the eCarTec Award 2015 in the “Powertrain & Electronics” category. ZF representatives accepted the award during the official award ceremony on October 19, 2015 in Munich.
“The more people and the environment in metropolitan areas suffer from emissions and noise, the more important environmentally-friendly, alternative, and, at the same time, economic drive concepts are for public transport,” said Werner Hechberger, Senior Sales Manager for Axle and Transmission Systems for Buses and Coaches at ZF, as he accepted the eCarTec Award 2015 on behalf of ZF in Munich’s Glyptothek. “Our AVE 130 electric portal axle extraordinarily meets these requirements.” The electric portal axle was developed and produced at the ZF Passau location and, to win the award, competed against strong, international competition to impress an independent, nine-member jury of experts.
Quiet and clean power
The electric motors installed near the respective input gear of the AVE 130 produce 2 x 125 kilowatts and deliver a maximum torque of 2 x 485 newton meters. That’s why usually only one electric drive axle is sufficient even for articulated buses to competently handle all practical requirements and, at the same time, in pure electric mode, with zero local emissions. Moreover, for the axle, it doesn’t matter what is used as a direct power source: Combined with an energy accumulator or a fuel cell, it functions just as well as in lane-dependent buses with an overhead contact line. Alternatively, the most diverse hybrid applications are possible – such as those in which the axle supports a downsizing diesel engine, which considerably reduces the fuel demand and thereby also the CO2 emissions.
Additional efficiency gains emerge since ZF will once again offer more decisive system components for the AVE 130 from a single source. For example, this includes an in-house developed electronic control unit that optimally manages the complex interplay between the electric components. OEMs also have the option to use an inverter to further enhance the overall system.
The AVE 130 with its many other features and functions in public transport continues to make an impression. Pure electric buses accelerate quietly without any jolting at all; also thanks to the electric motors and the constant transmission ratio, gear changes are no longer necessary.
Creating more space
With the AVE 130, electric buses now have extra space available for more seats and standing room in the rear – after all, the conventional drive and the propshaft are dropped. Also, an extra door was optimally included behind the drive axle which benefits faster boarding and exiting by passengers. In addition, thanks to the low-floor technology, the AVE 130 has allowed a passenger area with a completely level aisle as well as stepless, comfortable, and also faster passenger boarding and exiting.