At an easy canter
A hybrid hauler paves the way for economical fleets
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.
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