Isuzu Launches Japan’s First BEV ‘Erga EV’ with Full-Flat Floor — How Far Can It Go on a Single Charge?

June 2, 2024
2 mins read
Short wheelbase, urban model) of the battery EV route bus "ERGA EV."-Photo Credit ISUZU
Short wheelbase, urban model) of the battery EV route bus "ERGA EV."-Photo Credit ISUZU

Isuzu’s EV vehicle, the “Erga EV,” featuring a fully flat floor, was launched on May 28th.  Its pioneering fully flat floor design,  this short-wheelbase urban model sets a new standard for accessibility and convenience. It will be the first domestically produced battery electric vehicle (BEV) full-flat route bus by Isuzu. 

The Erga EV, unveiled at the “Japan Mobility Show 2023” held in October 2023, is a BEV route bus, with the urban model being sold first this time. The expectations are very high for domestically produced advanced BEV route buses ahead of the “2025 Japan International Exposition (Osaka Expo)” opening in April 2025.

Bus Erga EV Design – Photo Credit ISUZU

In October 2020, Japanese government has set forth the “Green Growth Strategy Through Achieving Carbon Neutrality in 2050,” requiring bus operators to undertake decarbonization efforts. BEVs are Isuzu’s answer for route buses running on designated routes in Japan are other parts of the world with carbon-neutral power sources.

In line with the company`s purpose, “Moving the World – for You”, one of the stand-out features of the EV is the elimination of the step at the rear of the interior to flatten the floor, designed with consideration for the elderly and people with disabilities. This was achieved by adopting “In-Axle Motors,” which incorporate motors on each side of the rear axle, eliminating barriers.

With the battery pack’s layout, it achieves barrier-free access and improved comfort without any steps. In some of the rear seats, there are backward-facing seats arranged facing each other, creating what is known as box seats, another characteristic of this bus.

While ensuring equivalent power performance to the conventional diesel engine model “Erga,” it covers the range required for route buses. It adopts high-voltage batteries that can be charged at the mainstream 350V in Japan, allowing 20% to 80% charging in 3.2 hours.

Interior seat design of the Erga EV – Photo Credit ISUZU

The lithium-ion battery that powers it is located in two places: on the roof and under the rear floor of the vehicle. In times of disaster, it can connect to external power supply equipment to draw power from the Erga EV and supply power to home appliances. In times of disaster, this feature offers critical advantages with independent power supply.

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Careful consideration has been given to operability and safety, contributing to reducing the driver’s workload. Additionally, it adopts connected technology “Prism,” allowing remote monitoring of vehicle conditions and enabling advanced genuine maintenance.  Operators can access essential information for BEV operation, such as battery remaining capacity, range, and charging status, from their office PCs. Advanced genuine maintenance is made possible through preventive maintenance and fault detection based on Isuzu’s data.

Interior seat design of the Erga EV – Photo Credit ISUZU

The bus features advanced safety systems such as Driver Status Monitoring (DSM) and an Emergency Driving Stop System (EDSS), which ensure the vehicle can safely stop in the event of driver abnormalities. Additionally, a blind spot monitor enhances safety by detecting pedestrians and cyclists.

Interior seat design of the Erga EV – Photo Credit ISUZU

The urban model being sold first has a range of 360 km at 30 km/h when fully charged, with a seating capacity of 70 people. The suggested retail price is ¥65.78 million ($0.418 million) (including tax), and they aim to sell 150 units annually. Expectations are high for this first-of-its-kind initiative in Japan!

Govind Tekale

Embarking on a new journey post-retirement, Govind, once a dedicated teacher, has transformed his enduring passion for current affairs and general knowledge into a conduit for expression through writing. His historical love affair with reading, which borders on addiction, has evolved into a medium to articulate his thoughts and disseminate vital information. Govind pens down his insights on a myriad of crucial topics, including the environment, wildlife, energy, sustainability, and health, weaving through every aspect that is quintessential for both our existence and that of our planet. His writings not only mirror his profound understanding and curiosity but also serve as a valuable resource, offering a deep dive into issues that are critical to our collective future and well-being.

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