21 Apr 2013


The South German industrial company Ziehl-Abegg (Künzelsau/Baden-Württemberg) has been recognised with an Energy Globe Award for their ZAwheel. The jury was chaired by Maneka Gandhi, an Indian politician and environmentalist, and widow of the Indian politician Sanjay Gandhi. She issued the following substantiation for awarding the national environmental prize: "The electric drive from Ziehl-Abegg for commercial vehicles, motor buses or waste collection vehicles almost completely reduces both noise as well as pollutant emissions". The prize was presented in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands, which is the headquarters of Ziehl-Abegg´s development partner, e-Traction, which originally developed this electric wheel construction.

Ziehl-Abegg presented the ZAwheel at the 2012 IAA for Commercial Vehicles, based on the e-Traction electric wheel-hub drive without transmission, for which she acquired production rights.
The statements made on consumption and efficiency are based on verified measurements. “We have cut the energy consumption in half as compared with buses using combustion engines" company representatives emphasize. The fact is that combustion engines achieve an efficiency of just 22 to 30 percent. A conventional electric motor with a frequency inverter reaches 85 percent – and the ZAwheel increase the efficiency to even 90 percent.
Since this synchronous external rotor motor works as a wheel-hub drive without a transmission and without a differential, the efficiency of the ZAwheel is significantly increased by up to 10 percentage points as compared to solutions with transmissions. Since operating costs with the ZAwheel are more economical than any conventional system, the procurement and retrofitting costs are amortised in a foreseeable time frame. When retrofitting existing vehicles, basically the drive train is replaced by the axle drive module and the required electrification is undertaken.
Verifiable data from measurements taken during multiple-year field tests during fixed-route service of city buses in Holland with the Range Extender and in Sweden in pure electric drive mode prove the efficiency. As Sales Manager Ludescher says, there are already orders for the ZAwheel from Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland and Poland.
Emil Ziehl founded the Ziehl-Abegg company in 1910 in Berlin as a manufacturer of electric motors. After the Second World War, the company headquarters was relocated to Southern Germany. Ziehl-Abegg AG is not quoted on the stock market and is family owned.

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