Cooperation for Sustainable Urban Mobility

19.07.2018  — 

Clean and eco-friendly mobility for the urban environment: vehicle body maker Tassima AG, component supplier Ziehl-Abegg Automotive GmbH & Co. KG and engineering partner IAV GmbH are entering a strategic partnership. From 2019, their plan is to electrify double-decker tourist buses.

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This sight is familiar to everyone in Berlin: the double-decker buses that take tourists from around the world on tours of Germany’s capital. Initially, the buses were used in regular service by Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), Berlin’s public transport corporation, and then converted for their second career in the tourism industry. As an integral part of city street life, the double-decker buses are immensely popular with passengers. Propelled by outdated diesel engines, though, they have fallen behind the times.

Project partners Tassima, Ziehl-Abegg and IAV want to send out a signal and develop an environmentally friendly electric drive system for this fleet of double-deckers that meets its operators’ wish for a zero-emission and virtually silent vehicle. The plan is to electrify the first double-decker buses of this type from 2019.

Ziehl-Abegg is designing, developing and producing the electric drive axle as a plug-&-play conversion kit for diesel engine vehicles. The electric motors and power electronics are integrated into the wheel hubs. This produces a compact design that is particularly suitable for low-floor buses. The traction battery is being rated for this application purpose and matched in size to suit the buses’ cruising range demands. Once the buses have been converted, it will be installed where, for instance, the diesel engine used to sit.

Ralf Arnold, CEO of Ziehl-Abegg Automotive: “Our ZAwheel is shown to be the most efficient way of propelling an urban bus – this has a direct positive impact on the size of the battery and saves costs in the long term.”

Roland Prejawa, Chairman of the Board at Tassima: “Our close contacts with city sightseeing tour operators mean we are familiar with their needs and know what towns and cities will be demanding in coming years. We will make the diesel-to-electric conversion decision easy for them with attractive financing models. At a facility we are planning in Brandenburg, we want to convert several hundred vehicles over the next few years as our contribution to making the urban environment cleaner and quieter.”

The shareholders of Tassima AG are specialized in bus use for tourists and in converting diesel engine commercial vehicles to electric drive. Tassima will be installing IAV’s component kits into the double-decker buses.

Utz-Jens Beister, Director Product Solutions at IAV: “Electrically driven buses are an attractive alternative, particularly in inner-city traffic. IAV has many years of experience in developing electric drive systems, electronics and integrating the various components into the overall system. In cooperation with our partners, we are channeling our engineering expertise into the project. Our motivation is clear: we want to make a noticeable contribution to providing clean, zero-emission mobility in the city.”

Contacts for the media:

Roland Prejawa, Tassima AG
Phone: 0177 3334085

Rainer Grill, Head of Ziehl-Abegg Public Relations
Phone: +49 7940 16 328

Markus Mrozek, Press Officer for IAV GmbH
Phone: 030 3997 89689

About Tassima

Set up in 2018, Tassima AG benefits from its shareholders’ many years of experience in using vehicles for tourism as well as from converting vehicles and constructing production buildings. Dirk Poguntke has been Managing Partner of Berlin City Tour GmbH and Pokra Werkstatt GmbH since 1996. Roland Prejawa is a co-founder of Gullivers Reisen GmbH in Berlin and was part of the management there from 1983 to 2006. Rainer Nobereit has been specializing in setting up and maintaining industrial production facilities in Europe for over 20 years, Tassilo Soltkahn has many years of experience as an architect of industrial buildings and plants in Berlin and Brandenburg.

About Ziehl-Abegg:

Ziehl-Abegg (Kuenzelsau, Germany) is one of the leading global companies in the field of ventilation, control and drive technology. Back in the Fifties, Ziehl-Abegg established the basis for modern fan drives: external rotor motors which even today are still seen as state-of-the-art worldwide. Another area of business is electric motors which provide the power, for example, for elevators, medical applications (computer tomography equipment) or deep-sea underwater vehicles. The theme of electro-mobility for motor vehicles was established as part of the Ziehl-Abegg Automotive Team in 2012.

The high-tech company has an impressive innovative capability. Ziehl-Abegg employs 2,200 personnel in its production plants in Southern Germany. The company has a global workforce of 3,900 spread between 16 production plants, 28 companies and 108 sales locations. Turnover in 2017 totaled 540 million euros, with exports accounting for three quarters of the figure.
Emil Ziehl founded the company in Berlin in 1910 as a manufacturer of electric motors. After the Second World War the company’s headquarters were relocated to Southern Germany. Ziehl-Abegg SE is not a listed company but instead is family-owned.

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About IAV

Employing over 7,000 members of staff, IAV is one of the world’s leading providers of engineering services to the automotive industry. The company has been developing innovative concepts and technologies for future vehicles for 35 years. Core competencies include production-ready solutions in all fields of electronics, powertrain and vehicle development. Clients include all of the world’s premier automobile manufacturers and suppliers. In addition to development centers in Berlin, Gifhorn and Chemnitz/Stollberg, IAV also operates from other locations in Germany, Europe, Asia as well as North and South America.

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