Isuzu revealed its first all-electric production model, the Class 5 N-Series EV, during Work Truck Week in Indianapolis.  -  Photo: David Cullen

Isuzu revealed its first all-electric production model, the Class 5 N-Series EV, during Work Truck Week in Indianapolis.

Photo: David Cullen

Isuzu Commercial Truck of America unveiled Isuzu’s first all-electric truck production model, the N-Series EV — what it called a “breakthrough model” — on March 8 at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis.

The Class 5 truck has a full 19,500-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and is powered by a battery-electric platform developed by Isuzu Motors Ltd. of Japan. The electric trucks also feature an all-new cab design.

The model-year 2025 truck will be available in the first half of 2024 in the U.S. and Canada. It also will be sold in Japan.

“The N-Series EV is a game-changer, not only for us but for our dealers and our customers,” said Shaun Skinner, president of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America and Isuzu Commercial Truck of Canada, at the reveal.

“As we look at the regulatory landscape ahead of us, we know that the demand for medium-duty trucks powered by electricity is going to increase dramatically,” he added. “And we will be ready, with the first electric production Class 5 low cab forward truck in the U.S. and Canadian marketplace.”

The truck is scheduled to be assembled in the United States for sale in the U.S. and Canadian markets.

Other key features of the N-Series EV include:

  • Wheelbases ranging from 132.5 to 176 inches to accommodate a variety of body lengths.
  • Four choices of battery capacity, the largest of which provides a range of up to 235 miles.
  • DC Fast Charging and AC (Level 2) charging capability.
  • Optional advanced driver assistance system package designed to improve driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety and to help reduce the number and severity of collisions.
  • All-new cab “engineered from the ground up” to increase driver safety and comfort.

Electric Powertrain

Each N-Series EV will be powered by several 20-kilowatt-hour, lithium-ion battery packs. Customers will be able to choose from three-, five-, seven-, and nine-battery-pack models. All else being equal, Isuzu said, the more battery packs, the longer the driving range.

For ease of charging, all N-Series EV models will be equipped with charging ports that accommodate both DC charging (CCS1) and AC charging (J1772) connectors.

The Isuzu NRR EV is powered by a multi-battery electric platform developed by Isuzu Motors Ltd.  -  Photo: Isuzu

The Isuzu NRR EV is powered by a multi-battery electric platform developed by Isuzu Motors Ltd.

Photo: Isuzu

To accommodate their multiple battery packs and provide reasonable charging times, N-Series EV trucks with battery capacities of 60, 100, 140, and 180 kWh, will have an AC Level 2 charging time range from 5.5 to 10 hours and a DC Fast Charging time range from 1 to 2.5 hours. Depending upon the number of battery packs, N-Series EV trucks will have driving ranges from 41 to 235 miles:

  • Three battery packs (60 kWh capacity) for 41-80 miles range.
  • Five battery packs (100 kWh capacity) for 68-130 miles range.
  • Seven battery packs (140 kWh capacity) for 95-180 miles range.
  • Nine battery packs (180 kWh capacity) for 122-235 miles range.

“A truck’s actual range will vary based on several factors, including several battery packs, vehicle options, driving conditions and habits, vehicle, and battery’s condition, and outside temperature,” Skinner noted.

New Cab Design for Isuzu EV

The new cab of the N-Series EV boasts revised exterior styling and an all-new interior. It will be the first truck to feature Isuzu’s global “Cross Flow” design language, which will eventually be applied to all Isuzu trucks in the U.S. and Canadian markets.

A lighted Isuzu badge on the front panel is the most obvious sign of the new design. In addition, Isuzu said the new grille “continues the ‘smile’ theme of previous generations as it directs the flow of air around the sides of the cab.”

An all-new headlamp assembly employs bright, long-lasting, energy-efficient LED clearance lights, turn signals, high and low beams, and side marker lights. And the new front bumper is designed to improve cooling performance while reducing repair costs.

Inside the New Isuzu Cab

The interior of the cab includes driver and outboard front passenger airbags. Designed as supplemental protection to work with the seatbelts, the airbags will be standard on the N-Series EV.

The steering wheel’s position and angle have been changed to provide a better fit than previous N-Series cabs for a wider variety of drivers. The steering wheel hub will contain switches that operate the Multi-Information Display, audio system, cruise control, hands-free phone calling, and more.

The Isuzu N-Series EV has an all-new cab. The new 7-inch color Multi-Information Display is standard.  -  Photo: Isuzu

The Isuzu N-Series EV has an all-new cab. The new 7-inch color Multi-Information Display is standard.

Photo: Isuzu

The new 7-inch color Multi-Information Display will be standard on every N-Series EV. It will house:

  • Warning lights.
  • Status indicators of driver-assistance features.
  • Ttime and temperature displays.
  • "Fuel" gauge that shows the state of charge for the batteries.
  • Shift position indicator.

Drivers can choose English, Spanish or French as the display language.

N-Series EV trucks will provide three-across seating. The driver’s seatback will be 30 millimeters higher to accommodate taller drivers, and both driver and outboard passengers’ hip points have been lowered 10 millimeters for a better seating position.

Isuzu's New Advanced Driver Assistance System

Isuzu said the N-Series EV will “take driver assistance, convenience, and peace of mind to new levels with the revised advance driver assistance system package.”

This optional suite of features includes automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning systems, which are part of the current N-Series diesel ADAS package.

In addition, full-range adaptive cruise control (ACC) improves on the current ACC feature with its ability to bring the truck to a complete stop and then return it to its originally set speed once the driver depresses the accelerator again.

The N-Series EV’s optional ADAS package will also include:

  • Distance Alert System: Notifies the driver when the front of the Isuzu truck is within a certain distance of the vehicle ahead with visual and audible alerts.
  • Forward Vehicle Start Notification: From a stop, notifies the driver when the vehicle in front of the Isuzu truck has moved forward a certain distance (at a traffic light or stop sign, for example), with visual and audible alerts.
  • Mis-acceleration Mitigation: When starting to move from a stop, if an obstacle in front of the Isuzu truck is detected and the accelerator is depressed more than necessary, engine output will be restricted. This can helps prevent or lessen the severity of accidents caused by mistaken accelerator pedal depression.

The NRR EV will join a complete line of Isuzu medium-duty low-cab-forward trucks, including Class 3, 4, and 5 N-Series models powered by a 6.6L gasoline V8; Class 4 and 5 N-Series powered by the 4HK1-TC turbodiesel; and Class 6 and 7 F-Series models powered by the with the Cummins B6.7 diesel.

“With the addition of the N-Series EV to our lineup, Isuzu will offer the most diverse range of engines and fuel sources in our history,” Skinner said. “By giving our customers a choice of power, we are giving them the power of choice.”

David Cullen

David Cullen

Business/Washington Contributing Editor

Washington Contributing Editor David Cullen comments on the positive and negative factors impacting trucking – from the latest government regulations and policy initiatives coming out of Washington DC to the array of business and societal pressures that also determine what truck-fleet managers must do to ensure their operations keep on driving ahead.

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