Isuzu strongly invests in e-trucks

Various sources reveal that Isuzu Motors will invest nearly two billion dollars into electric trucks and batteries. News reached us over an order with LG worth one trillion won. There is also talk of a new EV pickup truck from Thailand.

The Korean battery specialist LG Energy Solution will supply Isuzu Motors with cylindrical cells until the end of 2026. While the companies have not disclosed the deal, industry sources cited by KED said the order is worth at least one trillion won, about $748 million.

The Korean firm added in the public filing that LG ES has supplied some of its batteries to the Japanese truck maker since June last year. Isuzu intends to use the battery cells to electrify the Isuzu Elf, a medium-duty truck in production, starting in October 2023.

Determined to go electric

Isuzu is an independent manufacturer listed in the Nikkei225 index, but OEMs such as Toyota and Mitsubishi hold Isuzu shares. In addition, Isuzu has been closely linked to General Motors regarding technology, and GM is also a key client of LG ES.

The company increasingly wants to leave its mark in the EV space. A dedicated product page for the Elf EV details an ecosystem surrounding the truck with a management platform and the “EVision” statement.

The Isuzu Elf has a gross vehicle weight of 5 or 7.5 tons. The BEV has an output of 110 kW as a 5-ton truck and comes with a 40 or 60-kWh battery for a range of 120 or 180 kilometers. The 7.5-ton version has 150 kW of power and 100 kWh of energy for a range of up to 250 kilometers.

Thai EV-production

News from Thailand solidifies the impression that Isuzu is taking EV development seriously. Isuzu plans to invest 32 billion baht ($1,3 billion) in its Thai plant to produce electric pickup trucks over the next five years.

This involves an electric version of the Isuzu D-Max, which will roll off Thailand’s production line in early 2025. According to local media, Isuzu targets a range of up to 400 kilometers and sees businesses requiring a reliable and efficient vehicle for transporting goods and people as their primary client.

Also hydrogen

In Japan, Isuzu is reportedly building a center for electric vehicles to test and develop components such as motors, batteries, and thermal management systems. According to Isuzu, the ‘Earth Lab’ will open in June 2026.

This does not mean Isuzu is giving up its existing partnerships. For example, Isuzu works with Toyota and Hino for buses or Honda for a heavy-duty hydrogen truck planned for 2027. This Giga Fuel Cell truck is currently out on road tests in Japan.

Honda and Isuzu presented the 25-ton fuel cell truck in October 2023, promising a range of some 1,300 km. The power is contained in four Honda fuel cell stacks, each 103 kW, and a hydrogen storage capacity of 56 kilograms. Both companies believe fuel cell technology effectively achieves carbon neutrality in heavy-duty trucks.

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