Cummins and Isuzu have announced they’re working on a medium-duty battery-electric truck prototype. This is the first battery-powered project to come out of the Isuzu Cummins Powertrain Partnership (ICPP), the company formed in 2019.
According to Heavy Duty Trucking, this prototype battery-electric truck will use a Cummins PowerDrive6000 drive unit in an Isuzu F-Series truck. These prototype trucks will see use in North American fleets starting this year. After the pilot phase, the companies will release a commercially-available version of the truck across the continent.
ICPP is a formal cooperative agreement between Cummins and Isuzu, initially aimed at co-developing medium-duty powertrains. The companies expanded ICPP the previous year by entering into an advanced technology agreement aimed at improving emissions and efficiency of their powertrains. This agreement includes the development of emissions-free drive systems. This consists of introducing a B6.7-powered truck last year for the Japanese and North American markets.
The PowerDrive6000 was introduced as a plug-in hybrid unit back in 2018. This version has a battery-only range of 50 miles. Once the truck switches to the B6.7 diesel engine, the electric motor can kick in, helping the truck climb steep grades. Both the electric motor and diesel engine can be used for PTO equipment. The battery-electric truck prototype will only use electric power, but most of the hybrid’s features should carry over. Range figures and battery configuration have not been announced. A concept rendering shows an F-Series truck with battery boxes running along the underside of the chassis between the cab and rear axle.