Isuzu steps ahead of Japanese rivals with D-Max BEV

Pickup truck specialist Isuzu has beaten compatriot Toyota to the game of launching its first battery-powered light truck. The D-Max BEV will be unveiled at the Bangkok International Motor Show on March 27th, and the Japanese niche vehicle maker will be piloted into the electric transition.

Isuzu Motors, which has built up a solid reputation on diesel technology, is stepping into the footsteps of Ford, Rivian, and Tesla by adding a zero-emission version of its light truck based on battery power. As with any D-MAX, the BEV version boasts a rugged design and preserves the offroad capabilities these pickup trucks are renowned for.

Medium-sized battery pack

The D-Max BEV features a 4WD system with cutting-edge e-Axles to enhance its traction on bad roads. At the same time, the brand promises a high towing capacity (3.5 tons) and a substantial payload capability (1 ton), powered by a potent lithium-ion battery of 66.9 kWh assisted by dual motors. According to Isuzu, these specs are on par with the turbodiesel version. Figures for the estimated range were not disclosed – nor were charging capabilities.

The front electric motor delivers 54 hp and 108 Nm of torque, complemented by a rear electric motor producing 122 hp and 217 Nm. Together, they generate 177 hp and 325 Nm, rendering it more potent than the entry-level 1.9-liter diesel variant.

Stylistically, the all-electric version mirrors the looks of the current D-Max but adds a few details. The radiator grille typically receives a closed cover, while a blue lining evokes its eco-friendly driveline. The rest of the dual-cab bodywork is shared between the combustion-engined and battery-powered model.

Toyota’s battery-powered Hilux was unveiled without providing a launch date /Toyota

Ahead of Toyota

Though the plugged D-Max was unveiled in Thailand, where it excels in sales statistics, Isuzu also plans to introduce the model in select European markets, including Norway, in 2025, with further rollouts in, among other places, the UK.

Though pickups’ foothold in Europe is weakening, they remain firmly represented in the top-three sales in the US. They are a favorite within the APAC region, the world’s most prominent light vehicle market.

With the BEV version, Isuzu gains a competitive edge over the Toyota Hilux, one of the best-selling light trucks globally. Toyota is working on a hydrogen version of its pickup, a collaboration between the departments in Belgium and the UK. Last year, the auto giant also unveiled the electric Hilux Revo BEV prototype equipped with a battery pack. However, Toyota did not stick to a launch date.


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