ATLANTA — IC Bus parent company Navistar has launched a new business unit to deliver customized electrification solutions for commercial vehicles, including school buses.
The Detroit-based business unit, known as NEXT eMobility Solutions, will consist of an engineering team that will develop electric vehicle (EV) solutions for commercial transportation using a consultative approach that embraces a range of customer needs, according to a news release from Navistar.
"NEXT will combine the lean and agile approach of a startup with the proven engineering and manufacturing capabilities of Navistar," said Persio Lisboa, the manufacturer’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. "The team is well-positioned to deliver rapid, customer-focused innovations in the eMobility space."
Vehicles developed by NEXT will be offered under the International Truck and IC Bus nameplates and will be sold and supported by International Truck and IC Bus dealers, respectively. Using NEXT as a catalyst for implementation, Navistar plans to have IC Bus electric school buses available at the end of 2020, while International medium-duty electric trucks will be introduced in early 2021.
In addition, NEXT has established a comprehensive "four Cs" approach to developing eMobility solutions listed below:
- Consulting, using experts in commercial truck engineering, charging infrastructure, telematics, and more to craft a custom implementation plan for each customer's business, while optimizing each product for its usage and duty cycle.
- Constructing the vehicle, taking advantage of Navistar's commercial vehicle manufacturing capability.
- Charging, with solutions designed and delivered to each customer through new partnerships.
- Connecting, using advanced solutions, including Navistar's OnCommand Connection telematics and remote diagnostics platform, to monitor vehicle performance and provide support through the International and IC Bus service networks.
The NEXT team will be led by Gary Horvat, Navistar's vice president for eMobility. Horvat has EV experience from both the automotive and technology startup space, and led technology development for the electric bus product line of Proterra Inc., where his team set a world record for the longest range of any EV, according to Navistar. Horvat was also responsible for the development and application of powertrain and electrical components at Denso Intl., and before that, led improvements to Fisker Automotive's extended-range EV.