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5 questions for Stephan von Schuckmann

Aug 25, 2021

E-mobility is one of the big topics of the future. The member of the Board of Management at ZF Friedrichshafen explains where the challenges lie for suppliers, which innovations he is particularly proud of, and whether he himself drives electric.

Everyone is talking about e-mobility nowadays. As a supplier, what are the biggest challenges for you in this area?

2021 is a key year for electromobility. Europe is aiming to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, with ambitious intermediate CO2 targets in the EU. China continues to be highly dynamic. And electromobility is being given added impetus from the new government in the USA. Our goal at ZF is for e-mobility applications to more than offset the downturn in conventional powertrains over the coming years. That relates to orders running into the billions for the next generation of electric cars from 2025. We are already launching the technologies for that, and with extremely shortened development cycles compared to the world of the combustion engine. 

What advantages does e-mobility bring for the future, and is it a concept for the entire mobility sector?

We will achieve the CO2 targets, as a way of combating climate change, primarily via electromobility. It is one of the fundamental building-blocks of the global transformation in transport. The electric drive is set to become dominant across many modes of transport. For the vehicles of the New Mobility era, it already goes without saying. ZF powertrains work equally well with batteries, fuel cells or even overhead lines, giving the OEM maximum flexibility. 

Which innovations in this area are you particularly proud of at ZF?

We are true system providers for cars, trucks and buses. No-one else offers their customers so much competence and experience, across the widest range of applications and technologies. One reason for that is our broad product portfolio. From the e-engine to the inverter to the transmission, ZF stands for everything that makes for the best and most efficient electric powertrains. Our aim is to become the number one in Europe for inverters. 

Plug-in or e-car: What do you have in your garage, and why?

A plug-in hybrid with ZF drive engineering. It best satisfies my current mobility requirements. It means I can get around in any city and for up to 60 kilometers emission-free, whilst still having sufficient range for long-distance travel. 

What makes the ZF stand at IAA MOBILITY a must-see?

Without wanting to give away too much – ZF has a few world premieres in the locker to unveil at Munich, notably when it comes to electromobility. Because we want to show, under our slogan of “Next Generation Mobility. Now.”, that we are already implementing the mobility transition through our technologies – and that it is now time to act to roll this out on the mass market.

IAA MOBILITY is transforming itself from a pure car show to an international mobility platform with four pillars: The Summit, the Conference, the “Blue Lane” and the downtown Munich Open Space. Under the slogan of “What will move us next”, it stands for the digital and climate-neutral mobility of the future. From 7 to 12 September 2021, the car, bike and tech industries come together at IAA MOBILITY in Munich.