Beijing's Public Transport Corporation (BPTC) has placed an order for ZF Friedrichshafen low-floor axles, with 2,200 buses to be equipped with the German supplier's technology and delivered to the Chinese capital this year.

For ZF, this means a large supply volume of more than 5,000 axle systems as several axle sets are installed in each bus - including components such as shock absorbers and chassis modules:

Systems include the RL 85 EC front axle, providing for a wide centre aisle in the passenger compartment and a floor height of 350mm, to the AV132 drive axle and the AVN132 tag axle. Low floor height allows for step-free and quicker entry and exit at all doors.

ZF says this increases passenger flow and enables bus lines to be operated efficiently, with idle times at every stop claimed to be half as long at 16 seconds.

The ZF-Servocom, a ball-and-nut power steering system, is supplied by ZF Lenksysteme, a 50:50 joint venture of ZF and Bosch, for all 2,200 buses.

It supports the steering behaviour of buses equipped with ZF's low-floor technology, with BPTC also ordering this system for another 800 intercity vehicles.

"The Beijing BPTC public transport authority and ZF have been linked by a strategic partnership for years regarding the establishment and expansion of the low-floor bus fleet," said ZF CV Axle Systems business unit head, Andreas Moser.

Since 2004, BPTC has promoted the expansion of the municipal passenger transport system and is increasingly relying on low-floor buses.

Today, BPTC operates more than 28,000 buses across a distance of around 187,000 kilometres.

ZF has provided the Beijing bus fleet with around 15 000 axles and 800 automatic transmissions - excluding the recent major order. In addition, ZF Lenksysteme has supplied 18,000 Servocom steering systems.