ZF upgrades EcoLife transmission software on NYCT bus fleet, saving fuel and costs

Feb. 19, 2021
The upgraded software resulted in a six to 14 percent fuel economy improvement, an annual savings of 720,000 gallons of fuel.

ZF has completed software upgrades on 740 New York City Transit (NYCT) buses, improving fuel economy and resulting in an annual savings of about $1.6 million or 720,000 gallons of fuel. 

The upgraded software 2.0.4 enables earlier EcoLife variants to realize nearly the same improved fuel economy of EcoLife 2, ZF’s second generation of its six-speed automatic transmission. Test fleets are currently running (or scheduled) to transfer the experience gained in New York City to other large metropolitan fleets. 

“Through an easy and inexpensive software upgrade, ZF can offer remarkable fuel and emission savings to past EcoLife customers,” said Sebastien Braun, head of ZF Axle and Transmission Systems for Buses and Coaches, North America. “In addition to the 740 NYCT busses, there are currently about 3,000 buses running in the U.S. and Canada that could benefit from this software upgrade. Buses are [an] important means of transportation for passengers and play a critical role toward ZF’s ‘Vision Zero’ goal of eliminating emissions.” 

ZF’s six-speed automatic transmission, EcoLife, is in its second generation and provides improved fuel economy capabilities with stop/start, efficiency opportunities through optimized shifts and speed range and reduced service time.