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September 22, 2010 Vol. 6, No. 19

Greetings from northern Germany! Here I sit at a hotel-room desk in Hannover, after the first of two press days at IAA, the giant commercial vehicle show that attracts some 2500 journalists from across the globe. It’s all quite extraordinary size-wise, but let me get right to the news so far.

DAIMLER DOMINATES THE SHOW, as usual, with some 65 vehicles on display, ranging from vans to buses and heavy trucks. Among their more interesting products on display is a concept all-electric truck, the Mitsubishi Fuso Canter E-Cell. Daimler, which owns 85% of the Japanese truck-maker, is unveiling the truck here to gauge customer interest.

Nearly silent, of course, and emissions-free, the little Canter has a range of about 120 km, making it suitable for urban work. The E-Cell is based on a Fuso Canter 3S13 with a 3.5-ton GVW. It follows the introduction a year ago of the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid truck, a diesel-electric machine that’s seen some real success in Europe and especially at home in Japan. Nearly 1000 of these hybrids are already on the road, including a large-scale testing program in London, England. It delivers fuel savings of between 10 and 15%, says Daimler. The two-ton version of the Canter Hybrid has a fuel efficiency of 8.6 litres per 100 kilometers, currently the lowest fuel consumption of any truck in Japan. Not much different from my Volvo wagon, in fact. It meets the European EEV (Enhanced Environmentally-friendly Vehicle) emissions standard, currently the most stringent voluntary norm they’ve got.

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Rolf Lockwood is editor emeritus of Today's Trucking and a regular contributor to

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