ZM to Bring Zero-Emission Work Trucks to North America

Manufacturer Introduced Its Work Trucks in Classes 4-6 and 'Baby 8' Segments at ACT Expo 2024
ZM Trucks

ZM Trucks will enter the North American market later this year with a portfolio of battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell commercial vehicles. (Seth Clevenger/Transport Topics)

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LAS VEGAS — ZM Trucks, a subsidiary of Japan-based ZO Motors, outlined its plans to enter the North American commercial vehicle market with a portfolio of battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks.

The manufacturer introduced its zero-emission work trucks for urban environments in the Classes 4-6 and “baby 8” segments at Advanced Clean Transportation Expo, held May 20-23.

ZM Trucks, based in Torrance, Calif., plans to begin selling its vehicles by the end of this year.

The company will assemble its trucks in North America using vehicle platforms that have already accumulated millions of driving miles in other markets.

The work trucks are designed for easy body upfitting and are available with dual electric power takeoffs on all chassis platforms.

Joost de Vries

ZM Trucks CEO Joost de Vries says, "Electric, for us, is the better choice." (Seth Clevenger/Transport Topics)

At an ACT Expo news conference, ZM Trucks CEO Joost de Vries said the company intends to compete with traditional diesel trucks on a total-cost-of-ownership basis rather than relying on regulation-driven adoption.

“Electric, for us, is the better choice,” he said. “We need to protect our planet and all the other good stuff, but at the end of the day, these are businesses. They have to make payroll, they have to make money, and they have to save money.”

To make the case for its zero-emission vehicles, ZM Trucks is considering not only pricing and government incentives but also insurance premiums and factors like optimizing tire wear for electric powertrains.

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“You have to look at this from a lot of different perspectives to make sure the operators understand that this does make sense,” de Vries said.

The company displayed Asian market production models at ACT Expo but shared the basic specs for the North American versions coming later this year.

The ZM8, a Class 6 battery-electric cabover model, has a range of 160 miles and payload capacity of 12,900 pounds. The ZM8 platform, which has been sold in Asian countries since early 2022, already has more than 6,000 units on the road in global markets.


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ZM Trucks also will offer a hydrogen fuel cell electric version of that vehicle, the ZM8 FCEV. This Class 6 truck will have a range of 186 miles, a payload of 13,560 pounds and will be able to refuel in five minutes.

De Vries said ZM Trucks plans to begin producing these Class 6 models in November in Southern California.

The company also will sell the ZM22, a battery-electric cabover model on the light end of the Class 8 range. The vehicle has a range of 162 miles and a payload capacity of 34,060 pounds. The truck can charge from 20% to 80% in 36 minutes with 240-kilowatt direct current charging.

A hydrogen fuel cell version of that vehicle, the ZM22 FCEV, will have a range of 311 miles and a payload of 34,720 pounds. Hydrogen refueling can be accomplished in 11 minutes.

De Vries said ZM Trucks aims to begin producing its “baby 8” models in January in Southern California and in Toronto.

Equipment and technology firm ITD Industries will be ZM Trucks’ exclusive distributor in Canada.

ZM also is introducing a Class 4 battery-electric van, the ZM4, with a range of 150 miles and a payload of 5,730 pounds. The vehicle can charge from 20% to 100% in 5½ hours with an alternating current charger. Production is targeted for late in the first quarter of 2025.

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