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A Quarterly Look at the World of WABCO


+   Commercial Vehicle Electrification Merges onto the Fast Lane

Transparent semi-truck showing internal parts

While electric vehicles have primarily been limited to the light-duty arena, the electrification of the heavy-duty sector is off and running as most OEMs are planning to introduce battery-electric or fuel-cell/battery models over the next couple of years. This trend is supported by the fact that, by weight, 67% of freight is moved less than 250 miles in the United States1, an operating range that’s well within the real-world capabilities of the new models hitting the market.

A major reason for the commercial transportation industry’s growing interest and investment in electrification is simple—it can benefit fleets. From advantageous fuel prices to lower total cost of ownership, battery-electric vehicles check all the boxes. For example, without an internal combustion engine, the cost of downtime and maintenance drops drastically. And because battery-electric engines don’t produce emissions, they help to comply with California’s emissions rules—the most stringent across the nation.

One of the most encouraging indicators of commercial vehicle electrification is a recent report by ACT Research. Given that the total cost of electric vehicle ownership for some commercial applications is already beating out internal combustion engines, the research firm predicts that electrification of the Class 4-8 commercial vehicle market in the U.S. and Canada will top 40% by 2040—with a third of the market migrating to battery-electric solutions in the next 10 years2.

ZF is committed to moving North America into fully electrified commercial vehicles. As a leading global supplier, ZF boasts an eMobility portfolio that addresses the industry’s need for clean and efficient technology—underscored by its driveline, air management, steering and braking technologies—for today’s conventional vehicles and the transitional technology leading to an electrified future. For example, ZF’s PowerLine 8-speed automatic transmission is on the road today and is a stepping stone to next generation electric drivelines; it also plays an important role in the market for medium-duty commercial vehicle trucks, buses and heavy-duty pickup trucks. And CeTrax, ZF’s all-electric central drive, will launch in 2023 with a major North American OE.

1 U.S. Department of Transportation “Freights Facts and Figures”, 2017
2 ACT Research “Charging Forward: 2020-2040 BEV & FCEV Forecast & Analysis”, 2021

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