Daimler Trucks’ Mitsubishi FUSO Truck and Bus Corp. (MFTBC) launched the world’s first series-produced all-electric light-duty truck, the FUSO eCanter, in New York City on September 14 with UPS as its first U.S. commercial partner.
Deliveries of the eCanter are scheduled to begin this year in the U.S., Europe and Japan, while MFTBC plans to deliver 500 units of this generation to customers within the next two years. Larger scale production is slated to start in 2019.
The all-electric light-duty truck is MFTBC’s answer to the public’s need for a zero-emission, zero-noise truck for continuously increasing inner-city distribution.
In addition to being an eco-friendly vehicle, the company says it is cost-efficient and economical for users, as already proved within customer tests in Europe. The FUSO eCanter has a range of 100 km (62.13 mi) and a load capacity up to three and a half tons, depending on body and usage. The vehicle’s electric powertrain contains six high voltage lithium-ion battery packs with 420 V and 13.8 kWh each. In comparison with a conventional diesel truck, MFTBC claims it offers savings up to 1,000 Euro per 10,000 km on operating costs.
“In times, when everybody is talking about electric trucks, we are the first to actually commercialize a series produced all-electric truck,” said Marc Llistosella, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. and Head of Daimler Trucks Asia. “Having a long history in alternative drivetrains, we are proud to step into this new era. Our FUSO eCanter comes with years of customer testing, and the assurance of parts, services, and warranty through our global FUSO dealership network.”
Llistosella added, “Our new FUSO eCanter now addresses the increasing global demand for products to meet and exceed high CO2 emission standards. It offers an attractive and cost-effective alternative to combustion engines and makes electric trucks key to the future of inner city distribution.”
First all-electric trucks provided to UPS, four NYC-based not-for-profits
UPS, the company’s first U.S. commercial partner for the eCanter, will use the zero-emission trucks with an eye to moving their fleet toward being more sustainable.
“At UPS, we constantly evaluate and deploy advanced technologies that enable sustainable, innovative solutions for our fleet,” said Carlton Rose, President, Global Fleet Maintenance & Engineering, UPS. “Electric trucks make our fleet both cleaner and quieter, adding to our already more than 8,500 alternative drivetrain vehicles in service today. We have a long-standing global relationship with Daimler, and we welcome the opportunity to trial the Fuso eCanter as UPS continues to realize the benefits of electric trucks.”
In coordination with the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, FUSO also will supply a fleet of local zero-emission FUSO eCanter trucks to New York-based not-for-profits, including Wildlife Conservation Society, New York Botanical Garden, Habitat for Humanity New York City, and Big Reuse Brooklyn.
Result of research and customer testing
The global launch of the new FUSO eCanter has been several years in the making. At the 2010 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover, Germany, FUSO presented a first prototype of an electrically powered Canter E-Cell, which lead to a pre-series production for testing purposes in 2014. The FUSO eCanter benefits from experience of customer trials of the pre-series vehicles conducted in Portugal and Germany between 2014 and 2017.
In May 2017, MFTBC announced its first commercial customer for the new in-line series production vehicle in the Japanese market. Seven-Eleven Co., Ltd. will be operating 25 units of the eCanter in their fleet.
Production of the eCanter has started at the OEM’s factory in Portugal.