Isuzu introduces electric reefer, truck combo

Isuzu NRR electric vehicle

Isuzu Commercial Truck of America announces the development of an all-electric Isuzu NRR EV truck integrated with the Thermo King e300 all-electric transport refrigeration unit (TRU). The new product was released during the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo (ACT).

Isuzu’s NRR EV was announced in March 2023 and is planned for production this summer. The Class 5 NRR-EV is Isuzu’s next generation of medium-duty delivery trucks.

Isuzu states its N-Series trucks have long been an industry favorite for their maneuverability and visibility, the two key hallmarks of their low-cab forward design. The NRR-EV has three wheelbase offerings (132.5 in., 150 in. and 176 in.) that allows customers to choose between 14 to 20-ft. bodies to utilize the vehicle’s 19,500 GVWR. When it comes to the powertrain, Isuzu adds the NRR-EV can be equipped with one of four battery pack configurations (60 kWh, 100 kWh, 140 kWh, and 180 kWh) with different estimated ranges from 60 to 235 miles.

“Our new NRR-EV has been the top conversation for the last couple of years. We knew we had a good solution for dry product delivery, but many of our 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,” says  Shaun Skinner, president of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. “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.”

[RELATED: Isuzu readies Class 6/7 battery electric truck for 2026 release]

Isuzu says the new truck powertrain is equipped with an electric-power takeoff (ePTO) that has an operating range from 7 to 12 kWh output with a peak output of 26 kWh for demand spikes like when operating a dump body under heavy load. Isuzu adds another key feature of the ePTO is that it works seamlessly without a switch. This means the driver doesn’t need to dial it up or down to meet the power demands of the onboard equipment. The NRR-EV’s onboard computer will communicate directly with the Thermo King e300 all-electric transport refrigeration unit and supplies the power needed.

The Class 5 refrigerated truck solution developed by Thermo King is fully integrated into the OEM’s electric vehicle chassis. Isuzu says customers can order an EV chassis with an all-electric transport refrigeration unit to meet their delivery needs. The nose-mount unit is designed for refrigerated box trucks to help companies meet decarbonization regulations and goals. It also can provide cooling for single temperature applications with minimal impact on the Isuzu NRR-EV’s range. The e300’s electric reciprocating compressor provides constant, continuous system capacity regardless of whether the vehicle is stationary or driving down the road. The capacity is not susceptible to varying engine RPM changes that impact a traditional engine-driven system’s performance, the company adds. 

The e300 also eliminates traditional components like the belt driven compressor, mount and drive kit, and refrigeration hose. Isuzu says installers will appreciate the reduction in overall installation time and owners will appreciate the increased reliability because less parts means fewer breakdowns. The e300 also uses R-452A refrigerant which is a low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant that reduces direct CO2 emissions by nearly 50% per unit when compared to the traditional R-404A refrigerant.

“Thermo King recognizes 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,” says Chris Tanaka, vice president of Product Management for Thermo King Americas.

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