Isuzu shows new EV truck with electric refrigerated body

Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc. is highlighting the development of its all-electric NRR EV truck integrated with a Thermo King e300 all-electric transport refrigeration unit (TRU) at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo (ACT) taking place this week in Las Vegas.

Isuzu NRR-EV electric truck with Thermo King E300 reefer The Isuzu NRR-EV’s onboard computer will communicate directly with Thermo King’s e300 all-electric transport refrigeration unit and supply the power needed. (Photo: Isuzu Commercial Truck of America)

The Class 5 NRR EV medium-duty, low cab forward delivery truck was announced in March 2023 and is scheduled for production this summer. The 19,500-lb. GVWR vehicle is available in 132.5-, 150- and 176-in. wheelbase offerings and a choice of 14- to 20-ft. bodies. Powertrain options include one of four battery pack configurations (60, 100, 140 and 180 kWh) with different estimated ranges from 60 to 235 miles.

The powertrain is equipped with an electric-power takeoff (ePTO) offering an operating range of 7- to 12-kWh output with a peak output of 26 kWh for demand spikes. According to Isuzu, the ePTO works seamlessly without a switch, meaning the driver doesn’t need to dial it up or down to meet the power demands of onboard equipment.

The NRR-EV’s onboard computer will communicate directly with Thermo King’s e300 all-electric transport refrigeration unit and supply the power needed, said Isuzu. The e300 is a Class 5 refrigerated truck solution developed by Thermo King to be fully integrated into the OEM’s electric vehicle chassis and ordered with an EV chassis. The nose-mount unit is designed for refrigerated box trucks and can provide cooling for single temperature applications with minimal impact on the NRR-EV’s range.

Because the e300’s electric reciprocating compressor is not susceptible to engine rpm changes, it is able to provide constant, continuous system capacity regardless of whether the vehicle is stationary or driving down the road, Isuzu stated. The company also cited reduced installation time and added reliability due to fewer components compared with traditional systems.

The e300 uses R-452A refrigerant, a low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant developed to reduce direct CO2 emissions by nearly 50% per unit when compared to traditional R-404A refrigerant.

According to Shaun Skinner, president of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, the NRR-EV has proven an effective solution for dry product delivery, but many of the company’s customers also needed refrigerated delivery.

“With all of the intricacies of the powertrain and a new approach to refrigeration, this really shows the power of the Isuzu-Thermo King collaboration,” he said. “Engineers have worked tirelessly to get this right and customers will appreciate what this truck can do. For Isuzu, this is among the first Class 5 all-electric refrigerated truck offerings, and it will open new doors for us and our brand.”

Chris Tanaka, vice president of Product Management for Thermo King Americas, also announced “the power of collaboration for driving industry progress.”

“Strategic collaborations, such as with Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, underscore our commitment to providing our joint customers with cutting-edge technology that align with OEM developments and propel zero-emission transportation forward.”

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