Navistar joins forces with Volkswagen for electric truck

New truck, powertrains and fleet management solutions to arrive in the coming years

Navistar joins forces with Volkswagen for electric truck
Volkswagen bought a stake in Navistar last year to help it move into the US market.


Navistar International and Volkswagen Truck & Bus have announced plans to partner on a new electric-powered truck, new powertrains and connectivity technology.

Expecting to launched the electric medium-duty truck in the North American market by late 2019 or early 2020, Navistar chairman, president and CEO Troy Clarke says the partnership "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."

"We believe the Class 6/7 vehicle is ideal for electric powertrain solutions in the near term, given its abundance of packaging space, and that these vehicles typically run short distances and can depot to recharge at the end of the day," he says.

Alongside plans for emissions-free transport solutions, the two manufacturers are partnering on the next generation of diesel powertrains for the US market - scheduled for a 2021 launch - in preparation for upcoming global greenhouse gas emission regulations.

On the technology side, Navistar and Volkswagen say they are making huge strides to converge their connectivity activities.

Under a deal that would see Navistar’s OnCommand Connection fleet management solution join Volkswagen’s RIO brand - officially unveiled 12 months ago and yet to hit the market – both would run on Volkswagen’s global connected vehicle program.

To achieve the merge, the companies say they will firstly adopt common in-cab hardware.

"Future transportation will massively be building on connectivity as this will make our world much more efficient," Volkswagen Truck & Bus CEO Andreas Renschler says.

"The ecosystem we are about to create with our common platform will drive our strategic alliance to the next level."

The companies believe once they have completed the migration of their vehicles to the RIO system, they will have the world’s largest global ecosystem for commercial vehicles.

Volkswagen bought a 16.6 per cent stake in Navistar in September last year.

OnCommand Connection Updates

Fresh from announcing the migration of its services to the yet-to-be-launched RIO platform, Navistar has outlined a number of new services available for the OnCommand Connection solution.

According to Navistar it will soon be piloting OnCommand Connection Live Action plans, a new solution that will be able to predict when a part is going to fail before it does.

Based on field service intelligence and big data analytics, the system will alert the customer to corrective actions when it detects adverse conditions, Navistar says, and also the potential repair, the parts needed and the training required in making the repair.

"We expect to be able to tell customers that we will proactively identify problems before they happen, recommend a fix and pay for warrantable fixes…before anything fails on the truck and they experience down time," Navistar COO Persio Lisboa says.

With an expected pilot launch date in the next three months, Navistar says the official launch will take place next year.

The OnCommand Connection system has also added new inspection tools to automate US government-required vehicle inspection reporting and record-keeping and trailer tracking software that offers analytics and asset management.

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