HANOVER, Germany – An electrically-powered Fuso eCanter is coming to the North American market in limited quantities next year, with a full launch slated for 2018.
The soft launch in 2017 will focus on the US, Europe and Japan. Canada will be part of the broader roll-out in 2018, though performance in extreme cold weather is still a concern, representatives from Daimler Trucks Asia said during a briefing at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show.
A scalable battery pack will allow customers to achieve the greatest balance between range and payload, explained Daimler’s Marc Llistosella. Customers will be able to choose between two and six battery banks, which can be swapped out for next-generation battery packs as technology advances. The company is promising a payback in less than three years.
The Fuso eCanter
The Canter is the top-selling Mitsubishi Fuso truck, with four million sold worldwide. However, Llistosella said the truck maker sees the writing on the wall, with more major cities banning diesel-powered trucks in favor of cleaner alternatives.
“Acceptance of diesel is getting really under stress,” he said.
Work continues on developing an eCanter that will be suitable for use in North America, where operators typically put on more miles over a driving shift and also drive at higher speeds.
“We have to do something more for America,” Llistosella said, indicating range will be extended from the 100 kms achievable today to 160 kms for the North American market.
Industry-standard charging stations will be used for the eCanter. The truck will be fully connected and able to find the location of the nearest available charging stations when required.
An electric PTO is under development, so refrigerated and dump bodies can be attached to the eCanter. Llistosella said the US market has shown a willingness to embrace electrically-powered vehicles and the company will be working with key customers in major American cities during the soft launch.
In addition to providing no direct emissions while in operation, the truck is soundless. A pedestrian warning system is required.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies