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Navistar and Volkswagen to develop electric medium-duty truck for US and Canada; targeting 2019 or 2020 launch

At the North American Commercial Vehicle Show, Navistar International Corporation announced it expects a number of new product offerings and integrations with alliance partner Volkswagen Truck & Bus (earlier post), including plans to develop an electric-powered, medium-duty vehicle for the company’s core (US and Canada) market.

Troy A. Clarke, chairman, president and CEO of Navistar, said that the company was targeting the Class 6/7 vehicle as ideal for electric powertrain solutions in the near term, given the abundance of packaging space in the vehicles; that these vehicles typically run short distances; and that they can return to base to recharge at the end of the day. Navistar expects to be in a position to launch its first such medium-duty electric-powered vehicle in late 2019 or early 2020.

Our alliance with Volkswagen Truck & Bus is allowing us to move much more quickly into electric propulsion thanks to our ability to leverage their technology investments and components in segments of the market where we’re already a leader.

—Troy Clarke

In preparation for the next greenhouse gas emission regulations globally, Navistar, the maker of International Trucks and IC Buses, also confirmed that it is collaborating with Volkswagen on introducing fully integrated, next-generation diesel big bore powertrains for North America launching in 2021.

Navistar and Volkswagen Truck & Bus also announced their intention to converge their connectivity activities—OnCommand Connection and RIO, Volkswagen Truck & Bus’ digital brand—to a Volkswagen Truck & Bus global connected vehicle platform.

The first step will be the adoption of common, in-cab connecting device hardware. This would serve as a major step toward creating a global connected platform—covering roughly 650,000 vehicles worldwide—making it the world’s largest global ecosystem for commercial vehicles, once the migration is completed, Clarke said.

Volkswagen Truck & Bus expects to launch the cloud-based, brand-independent platform by the end of the year, which will be the basis for the cooperation.

Future transportation will massively be building on connectivity as this will make our world much more efficient. The ecosystem we are about to create with our common platform will drive our strategic alliance to the next level.

—Andreas Renschler, CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus

Navistar also reported that the procurement joint venture—Global Truck & Bus Procurement LLC—it created with Volkswagen Truck & Bus is off to a strong start. The team has met with more than 250 new and existing suppliers, and to date, have completed 40 joint bidding contracts.


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