Public perception of electric vehicles is often reduced to the electric drivetrain, which is reliable and requires little maintenance. But the brakes and chassis systems of these cars are perhaps more susceptible to damage and wear than conventional vehicles due to the stresses exerted by the extra weight of the battery. ZF Aftermarket supports automotive workshops working on e-vehicles with an extensive range of spare parts under the Lemförder, Sachs and TRW brands, with important additions this year.
Ten years ago, the Nissan Leaf was the first battery-powered volume model on the market. But the breakthrough in sales of electric vehicles didn’t come until 2020 when almost 200,000 new cars were sold in Germany. This means that sales increased by more than 200 percent compared to the previous year. The e-car park now comprises almost 300,000 units.
Owners of electric cars will increasingly visit independent garages in the future. The businesses must therefore ask themselves two questions:
1. Have your employees already completed the necessary high-voltage training to be allowed to work on these vehicles?
2. Do they have access to the appropriate spare parts for battery electric vehicles?
ZF Aftermarket is the supplier of choice because it not only offers an extensive range of spare parts for electric vehicles under its product portfolio of: Lemförder, Sachs and TRW brands, but also high-voltage training under the ZF [pro]Tech initiative.
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Chassis and brake noises are more annoying in e-cars
But how great is the need for maintenance and repair? After all, the energy storage and drive technology of practically all e-cars have so far proven to be extremely durable and low-maintenance. Due to the high mass of the traction battery being 300 to 500 kilograms heavier than conventional vehicles of comparable size, significantly more strain is put on springs, dampers and support joints. The high torque of the electric motors also puts greater stress on the chassis parts and increases tyre wear. Workshops should therefore take a close look at the chassis of these vehicles.
And the brakes? Here, too little load is more likely to cause problems. Because these vehicles decelerate electrically in many driving situations, the service brakes are hardly used. As a result, the brake discs can corrode and the pads glaze over. Because electric cars are very quiet, owners quickly notice any rattling suspensions or grinding brakes which limit driving comfort much more than with petrol or diesel cars, because the engine drowns out these noises.
Low-noise brake pads for electric cars
With an extensive range of spare parts from the Lemförder (steering and suspension components), Sachs (shock absorbers) and TRW (brakes) brands, ZF Aftermarket supports automotive operations in many chassis repair cases. The range extends from the Nissan Leaf to the Tesla S and X models. A special brake disc for the Tesla Model S is available under the TRW brand and the low-noise brake pad branded TRW Electric Blue is suitable for practically all electric cars on the European market.
ZF Aftermarket is set to expand its portfolio for electric cars even further in 2021. In the next few months, for example, the company will be launching suspension and steering components for the VW ID.4, ID.3 and Skoda Enyaq models. ZF is also an original equipment supplier for the Volkswagen electric models.