ZF: Cleaner, Safer, and Efficient Commercial Transportation
In a world where CO2 emissions and the reduction of fossil fuel dependence are daily topics in magazines, newspapers, and governmental debate, some automotive companies are making leaps and bounds to assist the world in making a smooth transition to the idealised norm of carbon efficiency and a healthier planet. ZF is just one of many, but they happen to be on the verge of becoming the leading technology partner to the commercial vehicle industry with some assistance from, recently acquired, WABCO’s capabilities.
The company is already playing a pivotal role in the industry, and they’re pushing hard to drive motorised vehicles towards a sustainable, connected, and safer future, through the technological advancements of the 21st century. Arguably, ZF is at the forefront of bringing cutting-edge, next-generation vehicle automation and digital connectivity─through IoT─to the world.
ZF has one ambition: to reduce carbon emissions whilst simultaneously developing a product and systems portfolio that enables intelligent commercial vehicles ─ most notably, “an industry-first autonomous trailer coupling function and energy-saving truck-trailer combination.”
The introduction of ZF’s initiatives to the market isn’t just a case of a “wanted” product; what ZF is working on is a necessity in Europe, as European Union (EU) policymakers look to reduce all commercial vehicle carbon emissions by 15 percent by 2025, and on to 30 percent by 2030. The challenge is one that all vehicle manufacturers will struggle with, but ZF intends to take the reigns on this initiative and is fast-becoming the new best friend and invaluable partner to the commercial vehicle industry.
The commercial vehicle industry, right now, is in need of new electric drive trains in buses and trucks, and there’s an exponentially growing demand for a myriad of electric vehicles and adaptive equipment. The European Union also expects new driver assistance systems from 2022, and just two years later, they expect advanced blind-spot warning systems to be installed in every new car. All of which, ZF intends to provide ─ especially now that they’ve integrated WABCO’s leading advanced driving assistance and fuel-efficiency systems into their existing technology range. The company now features “a complete and unique product portfolio for trucks, buses and trailers OEMs as well as fleets.”
“WABCO is a perfect strategic match for ZF and has enabled us to accelerate our global leadership as a future-oriented, full-range technology supplier and systems integrator serving the commercial vehicle industry,” said Fredrik Staedtler, head of ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Control Systems Division.
“With a clear aim of making mobility and transport cleaner, safer and efficient, we are mobilising commercial vehicle intelligence to support customers worldwide. Just four months after acquiring WABCO, we have made substantial progress in implementing new development projects bringing together our significant combined system competencies.”
“When it comes to transformative solutions for the next generation of commercial vehicles, we are at full speed,” added Andreas Moser, Head of ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Technology Division. “As a result, we can highlight new innovations such as the fuel-saving truck-trailer prototype, designed for energy-efficient driving. It combines a lightweight design and aerodynamics with optimised chassis space offering major benefits for future electrification strategies.”
Kuehne+Nagel cuts carbon footprint by 70% for Honda China
Around 16,000 tonnes of CO2 has been cut from supply chain of Honda's China-based manufacturing division through a road-to-rail transformation in partnership with logistics leader Kuehne+Nagel.
The programme was developed through KN Sincero, the joint venture between Swiss headquartered Kuehne+Nagel and Chinese automotive logistics firm Sincero, established in 2018.
KN Sincero worked with Honda China to develop an integrated solution to convert much of its domestic long-haul trucking to train lines, using regional hubs to improve supply chain performance and further reduce carbon emissions. The programme delivered consolidations as well as value-added services, including sorting, scanning, repackaging, GPS track and trace, and recyclable container management.
"Kuehne+Nagel has always been a supply chain partner that we can rely on, to help us improve our supply chain performance whilst also achieving our environmental goals,” said Mr. Jiang Hui and Mr. Takuji Kitamura, Joint General Manager of Wuhan Dong Hon, the logistics affiliate of Dongfong Honda Automotive.
After six months of shifting to the road-to-rail model, new supply chain reliability and efficiencies are expected too trip 16,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The carbon savings represent an enormous 70% reduction in total.
"Automotive is one of the most important sectors in contract logistics, particularly in China, the world’s largest automotive market,” added Gianfranco Sgro, member of the Management Board of Kuehne + Nagel International AG, responsible for Contract Logistics. “I am glad that Kuehne+Nagel and Honda share a common vision of service, innovation and sustainability.”
Kuehne+Nagel’s Net Zero Carbon programme
Kuehne+Nagel announced its Net Zero Carbon programme in 2019 with a dual purpose to reduce CO2 output in its own logistics operations, as well as partnering with organisations to minimise their own impact on the planet. Kuehne+Nagel reached carbon neutrality globally in 2020 throughout its own, direct emissions, and is now focused on developing its capabilities to serve partners.
Dr. Detlef Trefzger, Chief Executive Officer of Kuehne+Nagel International AG, said the programme is “a package of measures to fight CO2 emissions and provide sustainable and innovative supply chain solutions – hand in hand with our suppliers and customers”.
As part of the initiative, Kuehne+Nagel established its own nature projects in Myanmar and New Zealand, and invested in ‘nature-based’ carbon dioxide compensation projects to strip harmful emissions from the environment. It is committed to being CO2 neutral for shipments in its network of transport suppliers by 2030.