Isuzu Motors

Isuzu partners on EVs with Accelera, AVs with Gatik

May 14, 2024
The company hopes that the partnerships will help them scale zero-emission offerings over the coming years.

Isuzu North America Corp. announced it is developing Classes 6 & 7 zero-emission trucks utilizing an Accelera by Cummins powertrain for the U.S. and Canada, and also working with Gatik on Level 4 automous driving.

On the ZEV front, Isuzu's medium duty trucks will be equipped with Accelera’s next generation lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery technology to support customers' emissions targets while providing the benefits associated with a low cab forward chassis. Current plans for the vehicle’s availability are slated for 2026.

“With the start of production of our Isuzu Class 5 N-Series EV coming this summer and with the future addition of the Isuzu battery electric Class 6 & 7 truck, we will be able to provide zero emission solutions across our product line-up. This will also improve the breadth of our overall offerings providing customers the ability to choose the product and propulsion system that best fits their needs,” stated Shaun Skinner, executive officer, Isuzu Motors.

The two companies formed the Isuzu Cummins Powertrain Partnership back in May 2019, and this is the first ZEV solution to come from the collaboration.

Automating the middle mile

Meanwhile, parent company Isuzu Motors Ltd. will invest $30 million in self-driving technology provider Gatik to push level 4 autonomous driving forward. The partnership aims to launch a level 4 autonomous commercial vehicle business in 2027.

Gatik already commercially deploys Classes 3-7 autonomous driving trucks for middle mile logistics services in Texas, Arkansas, and Ontario, Canada. The new agreement is another proof of concept for AVs and their efficacy, despite some hesitancy from the transportation industry. 

"There’s currently a lot of skepticism when it comes to incorporating AVs into the middle mile – as it
relates to the technology and how it could affect driver jobs," said Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder of Gatik. But "To put it frankly, we simply don’t have enough drivers to cover the high demand of the industry, and the shortage is predicted to worsen in the coming years. The trucks that are incorporating our AV technology are operating in places with that high need and this is a solution that is both safe and effective. We believe that this successful partnership will further prove the proficiency of AVs for this critical sector of the market." 

See more: The current state of autonomous trucking | Fleet Maintenance

The agreement between Isuzu and Gatik is focused on the development of middle mile autonomous driving and will include the design and development of a new chassis (redundant chassis) that ensures safety when equipped with an autonomous driving system. In April 2024, as part of its mid-term business plan, "ISUZU Transformation - Growth to 2030 (IX)", Isuzu committed to the establishment of three new business pillars for the future:

  1. Autonomous driving solutions
  2. Connected services
  3. Carbon neutral solutions
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