Launch of a 7.5-tonner with electric axle drive

The first electric truck to be launched by new German brand, BAX, is a joint production between project partners Paul Nutzfahrzeuge and BPW.

Curtain up for the first BAX electric truck: the project partners Paul Nutzfahrzeuge, based in Vilshofen on the Danube, and BPW Bergische Achsen, launched their first joint baby at the Annual General Meeting of the German Federal Association for E-Mobility (BEM) held in the North Rhine-Westphalian town of Wiehl. The BAX vehicle is based on the Isuzu N-series, and comes with a rear-view camera system, cornering assist including pedestrian and cyclist monitoring, lane keeping system, and emergency braking system. It also boasts an air conditioning system and seat heating, as well as an infotainment system that can be paired with your smartphone. And it is also cutting-edge in terms of its telematics: the BAX relies here on Idem Telematics, a BPW Group brand, and reports its current position, weight and battery charge online at any time. Information on steering, downtimes and driving style analysis is also available.

Isuzu supplies the chassis complete with cab, but without the diesel engine. There is, therefore, no need for the time-consuming removal of the combustion engine and gearbox, with only the conventional rear axle having to be dismantled in Vilshofen. And then the 7.5-tonners head out onto the road in their electric life: the drive is supplied from Wiehl, with the battery packs coming from BMW. Paul Nutzfahrzeuge produces the component carriers, notably in the absence of the vehicles.

An electric 7.5-tonner. The launch of new BAX. Photo: BAX / BPW Bergische Achsen

200 BAX vehicles are set to be produced next year

Unlike with customized vehicle builds, the company simulates assembly line production for the BAX, with the individual units moving from station to station. 200 BAX vehicles are set to be produced in this way in 2022, with 32 vehicles being pre-ordered at the launch. Initial deliveries are scheduled for February. An annual production of up to 1,000 units is planned by the partners for the subsequent years.

The 7.5-tonner is available with two wheelbases – 3,465 and 4,475 millimeters. Two battery packs are also available for a range of 130 or 200 kilometers. The BAX is delivered ex-works without a body or with a box body complete with a Palfinger tail lift, still with a payload of around three tons. However, other bodies are unrestrictedly feasible: the BAX is therefore intended to work as a refrigerated vehicle, tipper, waste collection truck, mobile crane or tow truck. This is why BPW and Paul Nutzfahrzeuge have involved both freight carriers and body experts in the development process for this specific purpose. And the Sales team under the BPW umbrella brand offers customers all versions as a one-stop shopping solution.

Safety is also a priority with the BAX with comprehensive assist systems, including lane keeping system, emergency breaking and cornering assist, and a rear-view camera system. Photo: BAX/BPW Bergische Achsen

A BAX with a generous payload

The reason for the BAX’s generous payload lies with its drive concept, and not with its lightweight special bodies. The eTransport electric axle drive is more lightweight than a central electric drive with gearbox and cardan shaft, but is truly up there in terms of performance. Its two motors transmit their power to the wheels via planetary gearboxes, with the rotational movement of the motors also corresponding to the rotational movement of the axle. BPW gives the power as twice 50 kW, converted to 136 hp. The axle delivers twice 3,290 Nm of torque to the wheels, equating to increases of up to 20 percent fully loaded.

And what does the charging speed look like? The large battery pack is capable of charging from 20 to 80 percent battery capacity in 72 minutes with a 100-kW DC charge, and in 45 minutes with the smaller 84-kWh version. And the low entry into the cab and the driver’s excellent visibility more than make up for the somewhat unrefined cockpit ambiance. However, possibly the most important factor is the price: the BAX is set to cost €155,000 – but this is reduced to €75,000 thanks to the German government’s current subsidies