Elec­tric dreams

Out­go­ing Fuso boss Marc Llis­tosella takes a part­ing look at an in­no­va­tive in­dus­try

Australian Transport News - - Contents - WORDS GREG B USH

I n De­cem­ber 2017, Daim­ler Trucks an­nounced the up­com­ing de­par­ture of Marc Llis­tosella, head of Daim­ler Trucks Asia, CEO of Mit­subishi Fuso Trucks and Bus Cor­po­ra­tion (MFTBC) and also Daim­ler In­dia Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles (DICV).

Ac­cord­ing to Daim­ler, Llis­tosella had de­parted on “his own ac­cord”, his last day with the com­pany be­ing March 31. His suc­ces­sor, Hart­mut Schick, is head of the Daim­ler Buses di­vi­sion and CEO of EvoBus GMBH, a po­si­tion he has held since 2009.

One of Llis­tosella’s fi­nal du­ties was to make a fly­ing visit to Aus­tralia and New Zealand in Fe­bru­ary, but not be­fore he said his good­byes to the 3500-strong In­dian DICV work­force, where he re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion.

Known for his pas­sion re­gard­ing elec­tric com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles, and with both eyes on trans­port’s fu­ture, Llis­tosella joined the then Daim­ler-Benz AG in 1994, be­fore mov­ing to In­dia and the newly founded DICV, start­ing as project man­ager be­fore be­com­ing CEO of that di­vi­sion.

Llis­tosella was in Stuttgart, Ger­many in April 2016 for the launch of the first fleet test with zero-emis­sion bat­tery-op­er­ated trucks. Dur­ing tri­als ear­lier in Por­tu­gal, he lauded the per­for­mance of the eCan­ter.

“It achieved sav­ings of around 1000 eu­ros per 10,000 kilo­me­tres in com­par­i­son with a diesel-en­gined truck,” Llis­tosella says.

“This helps us to spell out Fuso’s lead­ing role in the field of elec­tri­cally op­er­ated com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles.”

Now with the launch of the eCan­ter ver­sion 2.0 and its up­graded bat­tery and a range of 100km, Llis­tosella be­lieves it would be ideal for Aus­tralia’s cap­i­tal city ur­ban mar­kets.

Mean­while, the launch of the new Mercedes-Benz eAc­tros elec­tric truck boasts a range of 200km.

How­ever, Llis­tosella says around 500km needs to be achieved, with the one of the most suit­able vo­ca­tions be­ing in refuse.

“Garbage is not at­trac­tive, but it’s per­fect,” he ex­plains. “It’s pub­lic, it’s go­ing in the night, it will be silent … only the crush­ing will be dis­turb­ing, depend­ing on what you put in, and it will go for hours.”

In the worst ex­am­ple, he jokes about an ice-cream ven­dor us­ing it to de­liver to ev­ery per­son on ev­ery street.

“That is a killer,” he smiles. “Open up, open up, open up … you are out of en­ergy in one hour.”

In the fu­ture, Llis­tosella says sys­tems such as in­duc­tive roads will al­le­vi­ate the time spent charg­ing bat­ter­ies, such as re­ceiv­ing a charge while wait­ing at traf­fic lights.

He sees it as an ex­pan­sion as to what the French have de­vel­oped with a sec­tion of com­mu­ni­cat­ing road, sens­ing tem­per­a­tures and con­di­tions and warn­ing mo­torists of black ice.

“You have a lot of roads and they have so much sun. You don’t need so­lar pan­els if the road would be pre­pared to get the en­ergy. And houses could be charged by this. These are the ideas.”

EYE ON THE FU­TURE

As well as the re­quire­ment for fur­ther de­vel­op­ment in bat­tery tech­nol­ogy, Llis­tosella says telem­at­ics is an­other area that is mov­ing ahead rapidly. To quell the rate of ac­ci­dents in its In­dian fleet, DICV in­tro­duced fa­cial recog­ni­tion as re­cently as Jan­uary.

“There are a lot of traf­fic- and truck-re­lated ac­ci­dents with a lot of ca­su­al­ties be­cause the driv­ers are not prop­erly trained or not prop­erly tracked,” Llis­tosella ex­plains. “So some­times they drive 14 to 16 hours.

“It gives you warn­ings and it’s con­nected to the data, which is then pro­vided to us.

“We have a war room where we can see all the mis­be­haviour,” he smiles.

Fur­ther into the fu­ture, Llis­tosella can see the in­tro­duc­tion of con­nected seats that could mea­sure the driver’s heart­beat.

“The heart­beat tells you if there’s any­thing com­ing, such as a stroke. But that is some­thing that we have to be very care­ful of.

“The in­surance com­pa­nies are very in­ter­ested, they want the whole thing,” he adds.

Un­doubt­edly an ideas man, Llis­tosella be­lieves his jour­ney with Daim­ler has been the great­est ad­ven­ture.

“It was a plea­sure, it was an hon­our,” he says. “They gave me the free­dom for the last 10 years to do what I wanted to do, and that is some­thing which is a bless­ing.

“A big com­pany says: ‘Go where you want, we will fund you.’ It is a boy’s dream.”

Above: Marc Llis­tosella made a quick stopover in Aus­tralia be­fore de­part­ing Daim­ler Trucks on March 31 Op­po­site: The Fuso eCan­ter on the road in Europe

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