Electric trucks to become more powerful and more economical: Cooperation partners from research and industry demonstrate emission-free 7.5-ton truck

  • PEM of RWTH Aachen University, BPW Bergische Achsen, Isuzu Motors Germany and StreetScooter present the first vehicle from the research project "Life cycle cost reduction in electric distribution traffic by means of individually adaptable drivetrain (LiVe)".
  • Vehicle up to 18 tons total weight in planning - Tests with various energy concepts to follow - Modularity of drivetrain reduces costs
  • Press event on 30 November at the Production Engineering Cluster at RWTH Aachen University

How can electric commercial vehicles become even more economical? How can costs for design, manufacturing and life cycle be further reduced? A research project of the Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM) of RWTH Aachen University is investigating these questions. The first vehicle based on the modular StreetScooter concept was demonstrated today at the Production Engineering Cluster’s Ramp-Up Factory at RWTH Aachen University: An electrically driven axle from BPW was installed in an Isuzu truck weighing up to 7.5 tons – a modular electrification concept up to 18 tons is to be developed over the next two years.



Gerret Lukas



+49 1516 5694122



In the near future, electrically powered trucks with a permissible total weight of 7.5 and even 18 tons will be on the roads. The "LiVe" research project aims to show how this can work cost-effectively in production and maintenance: The abbreviation stands for "Life cycle cost reduction in electric distribution transport by means of individually adaptable drivetrain". PEM of RWTH Aachen University aims to use a modular system to reduce costs, increase the variety of electrically powered trucks and make their design options more flexible. Cooperation partners in the “LiVe” project are Isuzu Motors Germany, StreetScooter and the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety through the "Renewable Mobile" program. A first result has now been presented in the form of a vehicle ready to drive:

The basis is a standard Isuzu truck model with a gross vehicle weight of 7.5 tons: A conventional Isuzu N series is powered by a diesel engine (5.2 l / 140 kW or 190 hp). In the LiVe demonstration vehicle, the electric drive with a powerful 6,500 Newton meters of torque by BPW, a commercial vehicle supplier, is located in the rear axle and replaces the diesel engine. The associated power electronics also come from BPW. Auxiliary units such as power steering, cooling water, and vacuum pumps as well as fans are also electrified. They meet the technical requirements of Isuzu's basic vehicle and ensure safe operation of the driving, braking, and steering systems.

The vehicle is a "primotype": this word is used to describe the preliminary stage of a prototype and refers to PEM’s agile development methodology. Unlike lengthy traditional development cycles, usage of primotypes allows for rapid results that can then be tested and optimized. In the future, the chair intends to develop further vehicles based on Isuzu's diverse portfolio and BPW's modular drive system: for instance, trucks with a permissible gross vehicle weight of 18 tons, with recyclable batteries and other energy concepts such as fuel cells and pantograph.

The primotype "LiVe1" was presented at the Aachen Ramp-Up Factory. Embedded in the RWTH campus, the Ramp-Up Factory offers developers, producers, and suppliers of electric vehicles an innovative and professional environment to put their ideas into serial production.

  Picture of the electrified Truck of the Research Project "LiVe" Copyright: © PEM First battery-electric commercial vehicle with a gross weight of 7.5 tons from the research project “LiVe” at PEM of RWTH Aachen University

Contact PEM:

Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM)
RWTH Aachen University
Gerret Lukas
Project Manager "LiVe"
Mobile: +49 151 65694122

Campus-Boulevard 30 | 52074 Aachen | Germany

Contact of LiVe1 partners:

BPW Bergische Achsen KG
Corporate Communications
Press and public relations
Nadine Simon
Phone +49 22 62 / 78-19 09
Fax +49 22 62 / 78-49 09

BPW Bergische Achsen KG | Ohlerhammer | 51674 Wiehl | Germany

Isuzu Motors Germany GmbH
Development Department
Dr. Andreas Sidorow

Isuzu Motors Germany GmbH | Im Weiherfeld 2 | 65462 Ginsheim-Gustavsburg | Germany

StreetScooter GmbH
Head of Marketing & Internationalization Department
Gero Kahlen

StreetScooter GmbH | Jülicher Str. 191 | 52070 Aachen | Germany