By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Voith + Wrightbus

GERMAN global technology company Voith has released a new electrical drive system, touted as new engine option for lighter commercial vehicles, it announced recently.

The MD concept supports battery systems from a range of manufacturers and is also enabled for use in fuel-cell electric vehicle drivetrains, Voith states.

The new 260kW MD engine option is for use in single-deck/solo city buses and trucks up to 19 metric tons gross vehicle weight. It is an "integrated drive concept" for easy integration into vehicles and increased reliability of the system, says Voith, adding that it boasts easy retrofitting of existing vehicle fleets.

With the new MD version, Voith is adding a second engine option, including the appropriate inverter, to its VEDS portfolio, it explains.

Since its introduction in 2019, the Voith Electrical Drive System (VEDS) has already proven itself in various applications in public transport as an innovative solution for the shift towards e-mobility, the company states.

The new MD (‘medium duty’) version, producing a maximum 2,850Nm is optimised for purely urban use, Voith states.

Compared with the existing HD (heavy duty) version, the new MD engine is 50kg lighter, which enables a greater range, it confirms.

The more powerful 340kW IPMS engine (HD), with its maximum torque of 3,100Nm performs impressively, especially in double-decker and articulated buses or trucks weighing more than 26 metric tons. It is also suitable for inter-urban driving profiles, Voith says.

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UK bus manufacturer Wrightbus – now under the stewardship of Jo Bamford, who took over as executive chairman in 2019 - was the first bus manufacturer to choose to integrate the latest engine option into the second generation of its battery electric (BEV) and fuel-cell electric (FCEV) buses for Europe.

The VEDS is based on a powerful, water-cooled, permanent-magnet motor with a high-efficiency inverter. There is no need for a separate transmission, resulting in a positive effect on power availability, energy consumption, range and noise emissions, Voith confirms.

The basis for these benefits is the integrated approach of the VEDS; all system components have been perfectly matched to one another from the beginning and work together optimally – from the hardware components, such as the electric motor, traction inverter and high-voltage distributor, to the software components, such as the drive control and energy management systems, the company explains.

This facilitates integration into the vehicle and ensures a high level of reliability, it adds.

There is no need for the time-consuming and costly integration of additional applications, and system incompatibilities can also be avoided, Voith says. The VEDS can also be used flexibly in various platforms, it claims.



The concept supports battery systems from a range of manufacturers and is also enabled for use in fuel-cell electric vehicle drivetrains, Voith states.

Thanks to its compact design, the VEDS requires no any additional installation space in chassis designed for combustion engines; it is therefore very easy to convert existing vehicle fleets with conventional diesel, hybrid or gas drives, Voith says. The company entered into a strategic partnership with e-truck manufacturer Orten for this purpose last year, it explains.

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By expanding the product range, fleet operators can align their electric drive concept even better to the individual requirements and application areas of their vehicles in future, Voith outlines.

The VEDS will therefore be a key component in meeting the requirements of the EU’s Clean Vehicles Directive and in complying with the new CO2 fleet emission targets, which come into force for trucks in 2025, it reminds.


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