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July 15, 2009 Vol. 5, No. 14

I’ve been waiting to hear this one, namely the entry of ZF Friedrichshafen into the North American hybrid truck market. Nearly a household name in Europe, with a long history of supplying driveline componentry, steering systems and other chassis components to car, bus and truck manufacturers there and elsewhere, it’s nowhere near as well known on this side of the fat pond. One of its divisions, ZF Sachs, supplies the tiny clutches used by Formula One race cars, indicating that the company is always at or near the cutting edge. It’s based in Friedrichshafen, Germany but has interests and facilities worldwide.

You’ll most likely know it in the context of the ZFMeritor FreedomLine transmission.

And now we have the announcement that ZF and California’s ISE Corporation (ISE ), which designs and manufactures series hybrid propulsion systems and components for heavy-duty vehicles, plan to collaborate on the development and supply of a complete line of parallel-electric hybrid drive systems and components for North American vehicle markets.

The combined expertise of the two companies will result in a broad product portfolio of series and parallel hybrid-electric drive systems and components.

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Rolf Lockwood is editor emeritus of Today's Trucking and a regular contributor to Trucknews.com.

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