German vehicle component manufacturing giant ZF Friedrichshafen will stop developing new technology for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to focus on alternative powertrains instead.
Germany’s third-largest vehicle industry supplier, whose vast portfolio includes eight-speed automatic transmissions supplied to major car makers such as Aston Martin, BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Jaguar Land Rover, and the Volkswagen Group, sees the writing on the wall for ICE vehicles.
ZF’s CEO Wolf-Henning Scheider told German news outlet Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) the company diverted all development resources to new technologies with a focus on improving range and efficiency of electric vehicles.
“We are preparing ourselves for the fact that in 2035, hardly any internal combustion engines will still be sold in Europe, and perhaps none at all in the passenger car sector,” Scheider told FAZ.
But while ZF's A$4.5 billion research and development budget will now prioritise new EV technology, the company doesn't appear to be stopping production of existing ICE components any time soon. The company just announced a A$258 million investment to produce PowerLine 8-speed automatic transmission for trucks, buses and large pickups in the USA from 2023.
ZF produces a wide range of components in 41 countries, including dual-clutch and manual transmissions, suspension technology, chassis systems for cars and commercial vehicles, advanced driver assistance systems, airbags and electric mobility technology.