New truck, bus electrification engineering center gets state support

LANSING—The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved a $500,000 Michigan Business Development Fund performance-based grant to support a $4.17 million project to build a new “eMobility Center” in Rochester Hills for the Lisle, Ill.- based truck manufacturer Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV).

Navistar builds International brand commercial trucks, diesel engines, and IC Bus brand school and commercial buses.

The project in Rochester Hills is expected to create 50 high-paying, high-skilled jobs.

A new Navistar business unit, NEXT eMobility Solutions, is focused on vehicle electrification for the truck and school bus markets to meet the future demand for electric vehicles. The company is leasing space in Rochester Hills, where it has designed a center that will serve as the technical lead location for the implementation of electric commercial vehicles. The center will include engineering analysis and the design and build of electric prototype vehicles such as school buses, medium-duty trucks, and heavy-duty trucks. In addition, the center will be engaged in electric vehicle battery development. Employees at the center will work in high voltage systems, batteries, power electronics, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, electric vehicle hardware and software integration.

Officials with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. said Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.

“Navistar is proud to become part of the Rochester Hills community as we build out our headquarters for all things electric here,” said Gary Horvat, Navistar’s vice president for eMobility. “We selected this location because of its proximity to supplier partners and the abundance of talent in emerging technologies throughout the area. With this new facility, we are hitting the ground running in delivering a full suite of electric solutions to meet the needs of our customers.”

Launched in October, NEXT delivers customized electrification products and services in the truck and school bus markets. Since its launch, the company has showcased its prototype electric medium-duty International eMV Series vehicle as well as its electric school bus at various trade shows across the United States.

The city of Rochester Hills is prepared to support the project by waiving fees, providing marketing support and meeting space for recruitment, and making supply chain introductions.

Individuals interested in careers with Navistar should visit www.navistar.com/navistar/careers/.

Today’s announcement builds on May Mobility’s recent announcement it will expand in Ann Arbor as well as last month’s news of an initiative to develop a first-of-its-kind corridor for connected and autonomous vehicles designed to improve transportation for communities in Southeast Michigan. A key goal of the project will be to design the corridor with a focus on closing long-standing gaps in access to transit and transportation across the region.

Cavnue, a subsidiary of Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners with a focus on building the future of roads, has been selected by the state to serve as Master Developer of the corridor project. This public-private partnership will explore the opportunity and viability of this project working with state and local partners, stakeholders, and communities across the corridor from Detroit to Ann Arbor.

In July, the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification (OFME) was launched, reaffirming Michigan’s position as the global leader in producing and developing the next generation of transportation technologies. The new office is working across state government, academia and private industry to enhance Michigan’s mobility ecosystem, including developing dynamic mobility and electrification policies and supporting the startup and scale-up of emerging technologies and businesses.

More about the MEDC and its initiatives at www.michiganbusiness.org.

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