Stronger suspension: New ZF low-floor axles and independent suspensions make buses fit for the future Improved gearshifts: Manual, automatic, and hybridized transmission systems from ZF make city buses and coaches more economical and comfortable Earlier foresight: ZF portal axles available on the market for 30 years
With its products and expertise, ZF Friedrichshafen AG demonstrates at the Busworld Kortrijk how public passenger transport can be economical, environmentally friendly, and comfortable at the same time: From October 18 to 23, 2013, the technology company presents its broad portfolio for all bus types in hall 6, booth 603 – from the future-proof conventional driveline and low-floor chassis technology to electric drive concepts and groundbreaking telematics.
ZF presents innovative low-floor chassis technology with the AV 133 rear axle. Its most outstanding feature is an aluminum spring carrier making the axle 45 kilograms or about five percent lighter than its proven predecessor AV 132. This new axle can compensate for part of the additional vehicle weight that is generated by the additional components required for the Euro 6 emission standard. The technology company plans to improve the AV 133 even further with regard to efficiency, noise emissions, and weight until the end of 2015. In Kortrijk, ZF also presents the volume production version of its AVE 130 portal axle for hybrid systems or purely electric bus drives. It contains two integrated electric motors making the overall system 200 to 500 kilograms lighter than all solutions with a central electric motor. These product innovations have a long tradition at ZF: Back in 1983 – exactly 30 years ago – ZF launched the first portal axle. The company is thus one of the pioneers of the globally successful low-floor technology.
This progress and ZF's extensive expertise are also reflected in the modern low-floor front axles for city buses and coaches: The new RL 82 EC supplements the ZF steering axle family and has been designed for axle loads of up to 8.2 tons. This is an answer to the challenges of the Euro 6 driveline. With the RL 55 EC, a ZF independent suspension conquers the midibus segment – it makes the turning circle smaller, increases comfort, and also reduces side tilt as well as unsprung masses.
ZF covers the continuously increasing demand for highly efficient drive solutions for city buses and coaches with even three different transmission model ranges that are all presented in Kortijk. Thus, the ZF-EcoLife 6-speed automatic transmission makes public transport not only more fuel-efficient but also quieter: in combination with the TopoDyn Life shift program, the engine speed can be kept low especially when setting off from bus stops. The manual ZF-EcoShift 6-speed bus transmission also has its advantages. The basic version serves as flexible platform. This platform can be extended in a modular way – and can therefore be tailored to individual customer and market requirements in a standardized way. And last but not least, ZF has also expanded its application portfolio of the well-established commercial vehicle transmission model AS Tronic and offers AS Tronic lite for light city buses and coaches. Based on this, the technology company is also working on a modular hybrid variant.
ZF presents numerous new bus-specific applications for Openmatics, its open, flexible telematics platform. While apps such as "Media Streaming" and "WiFi Hotspot" bring real added value for the passengers, the "Pre-Trip Inspections" app contributes to making the vehicles' operation more economical.
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ZF will provide more detailed information about these and other topics at its press conference at the Busworld Kortrijk on October 18, 2013 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in hall 6, booth 603.