At an easy can­ter

A hy­brid hauler paves the way for eco­nom­i­cal fleets

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Working Wheels - JAMES STAN­FORD james.stan­ford@cars­guide.com.au

EX­TEN­SIVE test­ing has found Star Track Ex­press’s hy­brid trucks are us­ing 30 per cent less fuel than its reg­u­lar mod­els.

The com­pany in­vested in 25 Mit­subishi Fuso Eco Can­ters for its pack­age de­liv­ery ser­vices last year.

Mit­subishi Fuso wanted to see how much fuel the trucks were us­ing in ev­ery­day ser­vice.

Some me­dia tests had cast doubt on the hy­brid Can­ter’s fuel sav­ings. Fuso says the tests were in­ac­cu­rate be­cause the fig­ures were based on top­ping up a tank man­u­ally and cal­cu­lat­ing the fuel used, a method that de­pended too much on the op­er­a­tor’s fill­ing tech­nique and other vari­ables.

In­stead it fit­ted elec­tronic black box data col­lec­tors in sev­eral trucks to record fuel use, av­er­age speed, gear se­lec­tion, hy­brid as­sis­tance, stop­ping time etc.

Fuso didn’t se­lect the test trucks and the driv­ers were not given any spe­cial di­rec­tions. In fact, they were un­aware they were part of the test.

Fuso says the trucks used 30 per cent less than the equiv­a­lent Can­ter mod­els and re­sults from the first three months showed a 34 per cent sav­ing.

If all 25 trucks re­turn the same fuel con­sump­tion fig­ures as the test trucks, Star Track Ex­press will re­duce its car­bon foot­print by 150 tonnes of CO a year. Fuso’s Aus­tralian test data will be sent to Ja­pan.

The Eco Can­ter is one of two hy­brid trucks avail­able in Aus­tralia. The other is the Hino 300 Se­ries hy­brid.

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Fuso’s 3.0-litre four-cylin­der diesel en­gine pro­duc­ing 92kW is linked to a 35kW elec­tric mo­tor fed by a lithium ion bat­tery, as used in the likes of lap­tops and cord­less drills.

The elec­tric mo­tor shares the load with the diesel en­gine and the bat­tery is charged as the truck de­cel­er­ates.

Fuel savers: Star Truck’s fleet of hy­brid Fu­sos has dra­mat­i­cally cut the com­pany’s car­bon foot­print

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