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3 makers unveil new medium-duty electric trucks

The medium-duty field for electric trucks grew by four new entries on Wednesday as Mack Truck, Isuzu and Hino Trucks revealed battery-powered models.

All three made their announcements at the NTEA Work Truck Week industry trade show in Indianapolis.

For Mack, the MD electric joins its lineup of Class 6-7 medium duties it assembles in Roanoke, Virginia, where Mack reentered the medium-duty market in 2020 after a two-decade hiatus. Mack builds a Class 8 LR Electric refuse hauler in Pennsylvania.

“This is another important step in our efforts to drive decarbonization and a more sustainable future,” Martin Weissburg, global president of Mack Trucks, said in a news release. “We plan to continue investing in technologies that help improve the environment and society.”

The MD Electric’s three-phase permanent magnet synchronous motor and all on-board accessories are powered by nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) oxide lithium-ion batteries, in 150 kilowatt-hour or 240kWH configurations. The MD Electric charges through alternating or direct current.

Regenerative braking captures heat from braking during multiple stops the vehicle makes each day, returning that energy to the battery. The MD Electric comes in 4×2 configurations. A sharp wheel cut enhances maneuverability in tight urban settings.

Hino adds two battery-powered models

Separately, Toyota Motor Corp. subsidiary Hino Trucks announced electric versions of its M- and L-Series medium-duty trucks. They will be available in 2024in integrating the SEA-Drive power system from Australia’s SEA Electric.

The Hino Class 5 M5e cabover and Class 6 L6e conventional models come equipped with battery capacities of 138kwH and 220kwH battery capacities, respectively.

Hino Trucks will offer an electric version of their M- and L- Series medium duty trucks branded Me Series and Le Series. (Photo: Hino Trucks)

“Starting in 2024, Advanced Clean Truck mandates are starting to kick off in California, which are growing the demand for electric vehicles,” Glenn Ellis, president of Hino Trucks said in a news release.

Hino Trucks’ national dealer network already has high-voltage training from its previous hybrid trucks. The network is capable of serving electric vehicles safely and efficiently. The company is building Hino INCLUSEV, an end-to-end infrastructure that includes consulting, sales, single-source financing, support and service. 

Isuzu takes N-Series electric

Japan’s Isuzu also announced its first medium-duty electric truck, the N-Series EV. The  2025 model year Class 5 truck features a full 19,500-pound gross vehicle weight rating, a battery-electric platform developed by Isuzu Motors Ltd. and an all-new cab design. It goes on sale in the first half of 2024. 

“As we look at the regulatory landscape ahead of us, we know that the demand for a medium-duty truck powered by electricity is going to increase dramatically,” Shaun Skinner, president of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America and Isuzu Commercial Truck of Canada, said in a news release. 

The low cab forward N-Series EV will be available in Canada and Japan along with the U.S. — the first time Isuzu has introduced a new model in three markets simultaneously.

Isuzu will offer four battery configuration choices for its N-Series EV medium-duty truck that will go on sale in the first half of 2024. (Photo: Isuzu)

Isuzu will offer four choices of batteries with a driving range from 41 to 235 miles between chargings. DC fast charging and Level 2 AC charging are available. The company offers three-, five-, seven- and nine-20kWH battery packs. AC Level 2 charging time ranges from 5.5 to 10 hours. DC fast-charging ranges from 1 to 2.5 hours depending on the number of packs. 

The NRR EV joins Isuzu’s medium-duty Class 3, 4 and 5-s low-cab-forward trucks powered by a 6.6-liter gasoline-fueled V8 engine. Class 4 and 5 N-Series models feature Isuzu’s 4HK1-TC turbo diesel. Class 6 and 7 F-Series models come with the Cummins B6.7 diesel under the cab.

The new entries join a crowded field with several startups and Kenworth, Peterbilt and Navistar already in the market. Daimler Truck North America has an electric version of its Freightliner M-2 expected to enter production soon.

Cummins B6.7 engine to power new Isuzu Class 6, 7 trucks

Hino Trucks gets first American president and chairman

Mack asks NHTSA to overlook lighting compliance on Granite trucks 


Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.