Isuzu D-Max Electric Ute to Potentially Launch in Australia
The Isuzu D-Max electric ute is one step closer to being available in Australia, pending approval from the local dealer. Overseas reports have revealed that the battery-powered variant of the popular D-Max will be manufactured in Thailand alongside the diesel versions that are already on the market.
Isuzu recently confirmed its plans to build the electric D-Max in Thailand during a press conference for the facelifted D-Max. The brand aims to achieve a carbon-neutral society and believes that producing a battery electric vehicle (BEV) pickup truck is a step in the right direction. The electric D-Max is set to be launched in Norway in 2025 and will be available for sale in Thailand shortly after.
The decision to manufacture the electric D-Max in Thailand is significant, as it increases the likelihood of a potential debut in Australia. Isuzu historically imports the D-Max from its Thai factory, making Australia one of its key markets for the model. In fact, 9.4% of total ute sales in Australia last year were D-Max vehicles, amounting to 24,336 units sold.
While Isuzu has expressed its intention to sell the electric D-Max in Thailand, this latest announcement provides confirmation of where it will be built, creating a stronger connection to a possible Australian launch. By manufacturing the vehicle in Thailand rather than China or South Africa, Isuzu has created an opportunity to potentially introduce the electric D-Max to the Australian market.
As reported by Drive in May 2023, the electric D-Max could utilize an electric motor from Isuzu’s truck division, which is currently used in the N Series small truck. Both the D-Max ute and the N Series truck share a 3.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine. The N Series truck is scheduled to be available with an electric motor, generating up to 150 kW and 370 Nm of torque.
The electric motor in the N Series is situated in the same location as the turbodiesel engine and drives the rear wheels through a traditional driveshaft and differential. It is plausible that the electric D-Max may adopt a similar design, with batteries replacing the fuel tank and an electric motor replacing the diesel engine.
Despite the potential for an electric D-Max, Isuzu has yet to officially confirm the specifications of the vehicle, including its name. Some reports have speculated that it may adopt the nameplate ‘E-Max’.
Australia-based journalist Jordan Mulach, who is a part of the Drive team, contributed to this report. Mulach is an iRacing enthusiast and can often be found racing his Octavia RS or expressing frustration with his ZH Fairlane.
The Isuzu D-Max electric ute has the potential to make a significant impact on the Australian market, which is eagerly awaiting more information about the vehicle’s availability and specifications. With Australia’s strong demand for the D-Max and Isuzu’s commitment to a carbon-neutral future, the electric D-Max could be a game-changer in the country’s automotive industry.