ZF Presents Novel Purely Electric Braking System

ZF presented a new, purely electro-mechanical braking system at its Next Generation Mobility Day in Shanghai. The system uses braking force generated at each wheel by electric motors rather than through a conventional hydraulic system using brake fluid. The system was co-developed by ZF’s Chinese, American, and German engineering centers.

The new system adds advantages and design freedoms in software-defined and electrically-propelled vehicles.

Our purely electrically controlled braking system is a significant addition to our portfolio of networked chassis systems. With such by-wire systems, we are opening the door to a new era of vehicle control.” —Dr. Holger Klein, CEO of ZF Group

The term “dry brake-by-wire” was introduced to describe the system, which uses no fluids. Everything is controlled electronically (“by-wire”) with brake signals from the pedal transmitting to the electric motor(s) to initiate braking. The system will enable shorter stopping distances, improved kinetic energy recovery, and will lower maintenance costs.

ZF estimates that with its electric braking system, automatic emergency braking distances from a speed of 100 km/h can be reduced by up to 9 meters when compared to conventional braking systems. Electric cars could see up to 17 percent more range from the improved regeneration as well. The dry brake-by-wire system also eliminates the particulate emissions and brake pad/disc fade issues. Not to mention lower assembly and logistics costs for the manufacturer and lowered maintenance costs to the consumer.

The system is in the prototype stage and will undergo further development.