Isuzu in Japan has revealed a new generation of truck models at an international launch that showcased its all-new light and medium-duty truck line up which significantly featured the brand’s first factory produced Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV), the ELF EV.
The launch of Isuzu’s first BEV electric truck means that Hino will potentially be the only one of the three main Japanese truck makers. without a pure battery electric truck. Fuso has had its eCanter available for the last few years and with Isuzu likely to have its own electric truck here in the next couple of years, Hino is still yet to announce its own battery electric driveline.
Local subsidiary Isuzu Australia says the launch of the new range is cause for celebration giving the brand the latest safety tech plus a zero emission option.
Isuzu has given labelled the new light and medium-duty range ‘Choose your future’ because it says the line up aims to ‘serve distinct distributor markets with a line-up of mixed product technology to address localised market demand, regulation compliance and geographic preferences’.
Local Isuzu Australia CEO Takeo Shindo said that this is an important moment for Isuzu globally as well as here in Australia.
“This next generation of product defines the path for the continued success of Isuzu around the world for the foreseeable future,” said Shindo san.
“The model-life for commercial vehicles is two to three times that of private or passenger vehicles. This release of all-new internal combustion and zero emission trucks is a landmark event, evolving the brand focus of reliability to now also encapsulate creativity and innovation.
“It provides Isuzu truck customers around the world, with a product suite to support their business today, tomorrow and well into the future,” he said.
Isuzu said the next generation light and medium-duty truck models are scheduled for local release in Australia, in-line with updates to local Australian Design Rules (ADRs) for vehicle safety and emission standards. When quizzed about this an Isuzu spokesman said it would likely be in 2024
The company says the next generation models encapsulate ‘key elements of change including an all-new cabin design, industry-first safety technology upgrades and new powertrain technology across the line-up’.
The company has revealed that its safety tech will be upgraded with the evolution of its existing Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), which is currently applied to its N and F Series products in Australia.
The company claims there will be a striking new exterior and interior design applied across the range which it says will have a focus on innovation and functionality.
The trucks will feature an new interior layout which Isuzu says have been designed with ‘evolving and updated driver-centric key features and overall ease of use’ for environments around the world, while the space surrounding the driver’s position has been expanded for better comfort and fatigue management.
Isuzu says it has also developed a new transmission options across the range which will it says will build on the current transmission options across Isuzu N and F Series Trucks.
Tak Shindo said that Isuzu Motors president Masanori Katayama has placed a clear corporate focus on the requirement for Isuzu to be able to adapt and provide transport solutions that meet the needs of customers.
“The release captures the spirit of innovation Isuzu is well known for in commercial vehicles; easy to use, durable and long-lasting products with a focus on low environmental impact,” Shindo concluded.
Isuzu Australia recently marked its 34th consecutive year of local Australian market leadership at the close of 2022 with record volume growth and total market share.
“IAL continues to build on the strengths of our success in the local market and we are keenly aware of the product attributes that our customers rely on daily in the course of their businesses,” said CEO and director, Andrew Harbison.
“Ensuring that this is encapsulated in every product and service that we develop and bring to market is critical to this record and we are confident that this new product announcement represents the next assured step in our continued journey,” said Harbison.
“What’s exciting about the announcement today is that the products revealed represent both the immediate and long-term prospects for our current and future commercial vehicle customers here in Australia,” he continued.
Isuzu said that according to recent road freight projections by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) while total domestic freight in Australia is forecast to grow by 26 per cent to 2050, road freight is set to increase by a much larger 77 per cent over the same period.
“With the converging lines of increased road freight demand and the requirement for ZEV, we see it as essential that we have a product portfolio that our customers can utilise to meet their immediate and near-term road transport needs and have certainty that their capital equipment providers have solutions for their business operations into the future decades,” Harbison said.
“The Isuzu Elf EV is the culmination of intense research and development by Isuzu in Japan.
“In its first iteration, this battery electric Isuzu truck is targeted at the built-up environment, fulfilling last-mile distribution duties. It will have an immediate and obvious impact in reducing urban transport emissions and contributing to greater quality of life through reduced noise and safety features protecting both the operator and public,” he added.
“What our customers can expect, when this new model is announced for the Australian market, is the same compelling operator and business case they rely on Isuzu to provide.
“We look forward to setting out on this journey with our Australian customers,” Harbison concluded.