Skip to main content

Zero Emission Drive Unit – Generation 1

Alongside exhaust emissions, particulate matter emissions are among the most important causes of mobility-related environmental pollution. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Stuttgart made it its goal to develop a sustainable and practical solution for the reduction of microplastics and particulate matter pollution through traffic and thus contribute to the realisation of an emission-free mobility. The project focuses on the development of drive-relevant components that have received little attention in this context to date but, at the same time, have shown that they are per se relevant as a source of emissions for any form of drive energy generation - in particular: brake and tyre abrasion.

The project is carried out jointly with the companies HWA AG, the subcontractor entrusted with the design of the first-generation Zero Emission Drive Unit (ZEDU-1) as the drive axle and the building of the test vehicle, and ARS GmbH, a manufacturer of hard metal coatings. Innovative drive topologies and novel brake concepts were evaluated and designed, developed, and realized both as multi-disc brakes and as induction-based hybrid brakes. Speed-related absorption concepts for the tyre abrasion were also evaluated, designed, and realized in the test vehicle. The test vehicle was built and was tested and measured both on the DLR chassis dynamometer and in the test field (picture above).

Currently, the measured data is being processed and characterised and the results of the analysis of the brake and tyre emissions - including particle number concentration, size distribution, and chemical analysis - are being correlated with data from the reference vehicle and evaluated. The project is completely on schedule.

On 28 September 2022, the vehicle was presented to the public and the press at a rollout event in Stuttgart. It attracted widespread attention. Press and media extensively reported about the ZEDU-1 project. During the project, contact was made with a number of companies and research institutions, association agreements and NDA agreements were concluded, and personal meetings were held to get to know each other.

#Vehicle Technology

Funded by