Isuzu is making massive investments in electric vehicles
Let’s start with the batteries. According to a regulatory filing, LG Energy Solution will supply Isuzu Motors with cylindrical cells until the end of 2026. While the companies have not disclosed the whole deal, industry sources cited by KED said the order is worth at least one trillion won, about 748 million dollars.
LG ES has supplied some of its batteries to the Japanese truck maker since June last year, the Korean firm added in the public filing. Isuzu intends to use the battery cells to electrify the Isuzu Elf, a medium-duty truck in production since October 2023.
The company is an independent manufacturer listed in the Nikkei225 index, but OEMs such as Toyota and Mitsubishi hold Isuzu shares. In addition, Isuzu has been closely linked to General Motors regarding technology, and GM is also a key client of LGES.
However, Isuzu increasingly appears wanting to leave its mark in the EV space. A dedicated product page for the Elf EV details an ecosystem surrounding the truck with a management platform and the “EVision” statement.
In hard facts, the Isuzu Elf has a gross vehicle weight of 5 or 7.5 tonnes. As a 5-ton truck, the BEV has an output of 110 kW and comes with a 40 or 60-kWh battery for a range of 120 or 180 kilometres. The 7.5-tonne version has 150 kW of power and 100 kWh of energy for a range of up to 250 kilometres.
News from Thailand solidifies the impression that Isuzu is taking EV development seriously. Isuzu plans to invest 32 billion baht (1.3 billion dollars) in its Thai plant to produce electric pickup trucks over the next five years.
This involves an electric version of the Isuzu D-Max, which will roll off Thailand’s production line in early 2025. According to local media, Isuzu targets a range of up to 400 kilometres and sees businesses requiring a reliable and efficient vehicle for transporting goods and people as their primary client.
Over in Japan, Isuzu is reportedly building a centre for electric vehicles to test and develop components such as motors, batteries and thermal management systems. According to Isuzu, the ‘Earth Lab’ is scheduled to open in June 2026.
This does not mean Isuzu is giving up its existing partnerships. For example, Isuzu works with Toyota and Hino for buses or Honda for a heavy-duty hydrogen truck planned for 2027. The Giga Fuel Cell truck is currently out on road tests in Japan.