ATLANTA — Navistar unveiled a medium-duty electric truck at the 2019 North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) show, and announced the formation of a new business unit to support electrification.
The eMV Series, a first for the International brand, debuted at NACV. It is the latest step in Navistar’s push into electrification, a point made clear especially after Andreas Renschler, CEO of Traton Group (which holds a 17% share of Navistar), said that one in three buses and trucks will be electric by 2035.
To support that projected growth, the Illinois-based OEM has formed NEXT eMobility Solutions. Based out of Detroit, NEXT comprises a team of engineers well-versed in lean manufacturing techniques and the needs of the customer to construct the optimal trucks or buses for their fleet.
For now, NEXT is focusing on the eMV Series, currently a concept and slated for sale in 2021, said CEO Troy Clarke.
The eMV Series will feature:
- 474 kW peak power (645 hp.)
- 300 kW continuous power (402 hp.)
- 2,100 Nm of peak torque (2,102 lbs.-ft.)
- 2,100 Nm continuous torque
- Three battery capacity options: 107 kWh, 214 kWh and 321 kWh
Using the biggest 321-kWh battery for basic pickup-and-delivery jobs, Navistar projects the eMV Series can operate for 250 miles on one charge. The new look truck also has a sleek aerodynamic hood and larger windshield.
The IC Bus brand’s electric offering, the chargE, which has been tested in California since March 2018, will be available by the end of 2020. The chargE has a range of more than 120 miles and reaches 260 kW (349 peak hp.).
Simply providing the hardware will not be enough, Navistar COO Persio Lisboa acknowledged. Working through the complex path to electrification can be difficult, and more than anything, he said NEXT’s mission is to illuminate the journey and “make the move to electric as easy as possible.”
"Companies interested in operating electric trucks have more questions than answers; they are looking for a partner who also brings clarity," Lisboa said. "NEXT combines the technical expertise required to develop leading electric vehicles with the industry experience to deliver custom solutions that go beyond the vehicle."
This starts with consulting with each customer, then leveraging Navistar’s experience and the Traton alliance network to build trucks form-fitting to individual fleets’ needs with the latest in EV manufacturing technology. NEXT will also assist with power infrastructure to keep the vehicles charged and connectivity to ensure they stay on the road.
“Early adopters are finding there is no one-size-fits-all approach,” Lisboa said.
Customizing each customer solution from design to driver is a major tenet set forth by Clarke.
Prior to the announcement, Clarke said “next-generation leading technologies” are made possible by “cost-effective access” the partnership with globally scaled Traton provides.
Gary Horvat, Navistar's vice president of eMobility, will run the NEXT unit. He previously developed electric bus technology for Proterra Inc., which set a record of 1,100 miles on a single charge in 2017.
Also at NACV, the company launched “International 360,” a communications system aimed at streamlining maintenance and repairs.
International 360 can support any truck and integrates with several dozen telematics providers through the OnCommand Connection remote diagnostics system.
Friedrich Baumann, president of aftersales, said International 360 brings multiple data feeds into one centralized interface.