Mitsubishi Fuso Brand Medium-Duty Work Truck
For the most part, anyone interested in electric vehicle (EV) technology has been focused on the evolution of passenger vehicles. Automakers like Tesla and GM have been front and center, feeling the love for their Model 3 and Bolt EV offerings. But is there another segment of the auto world that should be feeling some EV love? German auto giant Daimler thinks it may have the answer.
Recently, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), part of Daimler Trucks, launched its new Fuso eCanter truck in New York City. According to Daimler, the Fuso eCanter is the world’s first series-produced all-electric medium-duty truck.
When they arrive in North America, eCanter trucks will have a range of about 62 miles and a load capacity of three-and-a-half tons, according to Daimler. The powertrain will draw its power from six high-voltage lithium-ion battery packs with 420V and 13.8 kWh each. The battery packs are built by Daimler’s Accumotive subsidiary.
Compared to Diesel
According to Daimler, in comparison with a conventional diesel truck, eCanter trucks offer savings of up to €1,000 ($1,182) per 10,000 kilometers (6,214 miles) on operating costs. In addition to North America, eCanter trucks will be sold in Europe and Japan. While Daimler is only planning to produce about 500 trucks in the next year, it intends to start higher-volume production by 2019.
First on the list to buy three eCanter trucks is the United Parcel Service (UPS). Daimler is also offering eight of its trucks to New York City-based non-profits, including the Wildlife Conservation Society, the New York Botanical Garden, Habitat for Humanity New York City, and Big Reuse Brooklyn.
“Our new Fuso eCanter now addresses the increasing global demand for products to meet and exceed high CO2 emission standards,” said Marc Llistosella, president and CEO MFTBC and head of Daimler Trucks Asia. “It offers an attractive and cost-effective alternative to combustion engines and makes electric trucks key to the future of inner city distribution.”
In fact, electrified commercial vehicles have been a hot topic this past year. With the launch of all-electric vans from Chinese-backed California startup Chanje; Tesla’s announcement that they will build a fully electric long-haul semi; and diesel engine maker Cummins announcing that it will starting offering an electric powertrain option; there seems to be a general consensus that demand for electrified commercial vehicles is out there. And then there are the fuel cell electric trucks like Toyota’s prototype.
Despite being called “cost-effective,” pricing for eCanter trucks is still vague, but should be clarified sometime next year.
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