ELECTRIC IN A CANTER
MITSUBISHI Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) has celebrated the start of production of the world’s first allelectric light-duty truck, the Fuso eCanter. Fuso is a brand of Daimler Trucks Asia.
The event was held on July 27 at the production plant in Tramagal, Portugal, around 150km northeast of Lisbon. The Tramagal plant is where all eCanters for the European and US markets will be produced in line with the conventional Fuso Canter truck.
The Portuguese government has been supporting the development of the eCanter since the early stages in 2010.
Marc Llistosella, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation and head of Daimler Trucks Asia said at the occasion: “With today’s start of production of the eCanter, we become the first global manufacturer to produce an all-electric truck in series.
“From now on we can address the growing demand for locally emission-free delivery trucks in mega-cities,” Llistosella says.
“Our Portuguese plant does not only produce the trucks for Europe and the US, we also benefit from a close cooperation with the authorities in Portugal and Lisbon testing the trucks there since 2014.”
In May, MFTBC already announced its first commercial customer in the Japanese market: Seven-Eleven will be operating 25 units of the new eCanter in its fleet before year’s end.
After unveiling the first charging station for trucks in May and starting production at the Kawasaki plant in Japan on July 7, the July 27 event symbolised the beginning of manufacturing of the eCanter outside of Japan.
After entering small-scale series production, Daimler is looking forward to the next step of large-scale series production sometime in the future.
The Fuso eCanter produced at the Tramagal plant is in line with the conventional Canter light-duty truck, although only the electric-powertrain specific components will be installed in specific boxes along the production line.
Daimler says the all-electric light-duty truck is Fuso’s answer to the public’s need for a zero-emission and zeronoise truck for inner-city distribution, helping to solve the increasing noise and pollution problems in urban environments across the globe.
In addition to being an environment-friendly vehicle, it is also claimed to be cost efficient and economical for users.
The eCanter has a range of 100km and a load capacity of two to three tonnes, depending on body and usage. The vehicle’s electric powertrain contains six high-voltage lithiumion battery packs with 420V and 13.8kW/h each. The battery packs are being delivered from the 100 per cent Daimler subsidiary Accumotive in Kamenz, Germany.
Daimler says the Fuso eCanter has benefitted from extensive experience of customer trials conducted in Portugal and Germany with the pre-series between 2014 and 2017. In comparison with a conventional diesel truck, it offers savings up to 1000 Euros (A$1483) per 10,000km on operating costs.
Fuso has a long history in alternative drivetrains for trucks. Series production of the Canter Eco Hybrid began in 2006, while the second generation has been in production since 2012.
At the 2010 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover, Germany, Fuso presented a first prototype of an electrically powered Canter E-Cell, leading into a pre-series production for testing purposes in 2014.