Innovations for mobility and the environment


OUT of Diesel: Conversion from a diesel bus to a ful electric public bus

The technology leader I SEE MOBILITY, in cooperation with ZIEHL-ABEGG AUTOMOTIVE GmbH & Co. KG and other companies, has converted a first diesel bus from MAN into a ful electric bus. With the development of this plug & play conversion kit, the prerequisites for an extremely fast and uncomplicated conversion of 12 m and 18 m buses in series production were created. I SEE MOBILITY deliberately uses the ZAwheel® wheel hub drive from ZIEHL-ABEGG AUTOMOTIVE in the retrofit business for city buses. From I SEE MOBILITYs experiences, a drive with gears is out of the question for them, as these are more susceptible, more noisy and more inefficient.

ZAwheel® is a wheel hub drive that does not require a gear ratio and is located completely inside the hub. The first vehicle is already in normal operation in Schleswig-Holstein / Germany. Next converted vehicles will follow soon.


Clean and eco-friendly sightseeing in the city

Double decker buses are almost as much of a Berlin landmark as the Brandenburg Gate. The first horse-drawn double decker buses were operating in the capital at the end of the 19th Century. The first motorized vehicles followed at the beginning of the 20th Century and now, a hundred years later, electrified, eco-friendly double decker tour buses are running in the city.

Together with its engineering partner IAV GmbH, ZIEHL-ABEGG AUTOMOTIVE GmbH & Co. KG has developed an environmentally friendly e-drive for the Berlin double-decker fleet, which enables emission-free and virtually silent driving of city, airport, sightseeing and double-decker buses. The electric motors and the power electronics are integrated into the wheel hubs. This results in a compact design that is particularly suitable for double-decker buses and low-floor buses.


Photo: Stephan Goerlich / FMG


Long daily milage and flexible operation: Conversion from diesel bus to gas-generator powered public bus

With its patented CMF drive, CM FLUIDS deliberately relies on the compact and installation space-neutral ZAwheel® drive from ZIEHL-ABEGG AUTOMOTIVE GmbH & Co.KG for its vehicle conversions from diesel commercial vehicles to gas-generator powered vehicles. The vehicle is fuelled with climate-neutral liquid bioethanol and runs extremely energy-efficiently thanks to the use of the ZAwheel® drive. The vehicle's drive system thus offers the operator an extraordinary long daily milage and flexible operation. The drive system is already being used in vehicles, for instance in a converted CITARO I public bus as shuttle service at Munich Airport.


Advantages for you

More flexibility
  • Usable in new vehicles / vehicle retrofit
  • Scalable: motor variants BASIC / ADVANCED / ENHANCED
  • Useable for Fuel Cell Bus / Battery Electric Bus / Battery Electric Bus (range-extended)
  • Suitable for 10.5 m, 12 m, 18 m, 24 m and 36 m buses (class M3)
  • Suitable for 12 t, 18 t, 26 t trucks (class N3)
Higher drive efficiency
  • Reduction of mechanical transmission losses
  • OUTRANGE effect: 20% reduction of batteries or H2 tanks
  • Certified energy consumption (according to UITP E-SORT 2017):
    0,706 kWh/km (SORT 2)
  • Reduced operating costs due to energy savings from low consumption values.
New space concepts
  • Continuous full low floor
  • More space for vehicle design: Use of former central engine compartment for battery, luggage or higher passenger numbers
  • Potential improvements to the vehicle, e.g. wider lane, greater spring spacing and for low-floor buses a wider aisle of up to 810 mm.
Maintenance friendly
  • Real time monitoring of relevant data such as journeys, movements and more
  • Due to elimination of around 80% of the moving parts in the drive train, low-maintenance, easy to service and eco-friendly
Travel comfort
  • Minimal sound characteristics (< 60 dBA at 30 km/h)

Climate protection

The polar icecaps are melting and sea levels are rising. Forests are dying and farmers fear for their harvests. Burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil emits CO2 into the atmosphere, which pushes the earth’s climate system out of balance.

Do you know your ecological footprint? Almost two tons of our CO2 emissions come from transport - air travel, cars and also buses that consume too much fuel - heat up the climate and pollute our air.
Let’s tackle the issue together and fight climate change and scarcity of crude oil with sustainable electric mobility. One possible solution is emission-free driving using electric vehicles. Local public transport systems and urban transportation have huge potential for new vehicles with electrical drives and for retrofitting to convert existing commercial vehicles to battery-powered electrical drives. The required range flexibility can be covered by adapted charging concepts and battery capacities.

With ZAwheel®, a silent, environmentally friendly and gearless electrical in wheel hub drive for urban, airport, sightseeing and double decker buses, as well as load carrying commercial vehicles and special vehicles for mining and underground construction, ZIEHL-ABEGG is making a key contribution to protecting the climate.

Living space

Urban living quality thanks to electrification. If forecasts are to be believed, by 2050 around seven out of every ten people will live in cities. Cities will be the primary living space of the future. As this trend continues, the roads will get more crowded, noise levels will rise, car parks will be fuller and travel distances will increase.
Even now, urgent action is required to combat alarmingly high pollutant levels in cities. In the long term, it is sure to be even harder to make journeys by car, bike or on foot. Modern, eco-friendly mobility solutions are needed. Local public transport systems are the best way to navigate the urban traffic jungle. If they can be made more eco-friendly, we have a win/win situation for people and the environment. Electricity has been used as a power source in public transport for over a hundred years. Many underground rail and tram networks are electrically powered. Innovations in the field of electric vehicles enable the technology to be used for a wider spectrum of public transport methods. The key concept is emission-free and silent driving by electrification of vehicles. Retrofitting and the use of electric motors in older diesel buses can be a major element of sustainable mobility in cities.
With ZAwheel®, ZIEHL-ABEGG AUTOMOTIVE offers a forward-looking solution for electrical conversion of buses and load carrying commercial vehicles. The ZAwheel® in wheel hub drive is suitable for new vehicles and for converting diesel engines to electric motors.


All the signs are pointing to an energy revolution - including in road transportation. In the future mobility will need to be CO2 neutral. This target can be achieved through electric mobility. Electrically powered vehicles - electric cars, e-bikes and e-buses and trucks - are eco-friendly, quiet and efficient on the road. They also require less maintenance and repairs than combustion engines and emit zero CO2.
The crucial advantage over diesel or petrol vehicles is the efficiency of the technology. Electric vehicles have a considerably higher level of efficiency. If we look at the ratio of supplied energy to usable energy in electrical drives, we get a figure of around 90 percent. By comparison, the figure is around 35 percent for petrol engines and 45 percent for diesel engines. The remaining energy is lost as heat. In addition, electrical drives can recover released energy and return it to the battery, for example when braking.
Future environmentally friendly mobility is all about maximum power with minimum energy consumption and minimal space requirement. With the ZAwheel®, a gearless electrical direct drive with in wheel hub technology and integrated control, ZIEHL-ABEGG AUTOMOTIVE offers a highly efficient complete solution for electrical conversion of commercial vehicles and for use in new vehicles. Benefit from the advantages of the drive directly in the wheel - the torque is generated exactly where power is required. The energy consuming gearbox and differential are eliminated.

Our solutions for your vehicle modernisation


ZAwheel® in wheel hub drive

In this single in wheel hub drive for commercial vehicles, the drive system is directly on the wheel (electrical in wheel hub drive). Targeted use of the torque enables buses and commercial vehicles to run silently and with zero emissions. The electrical in wheel hub drive is ideal for urban, airport, sightseeing and double decker buses.
Read more

Zawheel® control unit

All system components from a single source - The ZAwheel® control unit contains hardware and software and manages the complex interactions between the electrical components. This enables the entire electrical drive system to operate more efficiently.
Read more

Do you have any questions?

If so, write to us

Request directly