Fuso has celebrated the start of small-series production of the Fuso eCanter at its Tramagal plant in Portugal
The Fuso eCanter is the world’s first series all-electric truck
The global launch of the eCanter will take place in New York City in September
The eCanter has a range of 100km and a load capacity of two to three tonnes
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) has celebrated the start of production of the world’s first all-electric light-duty truck, the Fuso eCanter.
Fuso is a brand of Daimler Trucks Asia.
The event was held on July 27 at the production plant in Tramagal, Portugal, around 150km northeast of Lisbon.
The Tramagal plant is where all eCanters for the European and US markets will be produced in line with the conventional Fuso Canter truck.
The Portuguese government has been supporting the development of the eCanter since the early stages in 2010.
The President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, joined members of the government, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck Europe and MFTBC executives at the event.
“With today’s start of production of the eCanter, we become the first global manufacturer to produce an all-electric truck in series,” MFTBC president and CEO Marc Llistosella said at the event.
“From now on we can address the growing demand for locally emission free delivery trucks in mega-cities.
“We already received the first customer orders and will mark the global launch of this truck in one of the most iconic mega-cities, in New York, this September,” Llistosella says.
“Our Portuguese plant does not only produce the trucks for Europe and the US, we also benefit from a close cooperation with the authorities in Portugal and Lisbon testing the trucks there since 2014.”
En route to customers
In May, MFTBC already announced its first commercial customer in the Japanese market: Seven-Eleven will be operating 25 units of the new eCanter in their fleet before year’s end.
After unveiling the first charging station for trucks in May and starting production at the Kawasaki plant in Japan on July 7, the July 27 event symbolised the beginning of manufacturing of the eCanter outside of Japan.
After entering small scale series production, Daimler is looking forward to the next step of large scale series production sometime in the future.
The Fuso eCanter produced at the Tramagal plant is in line with the conventional Canter light-duty truck, although only the electric-powertrain specific components will be installed in specific boxes along the production line.
The eCanters will be handed over to European and US customers wkthin the next month.
Daimler says the all-electric light-duty truck is Fuso’s answer to the public’s need for a zero-emission and zero-noise truck for inner-city distribution, helping to solve the increasing noise and pollution problems in urban environments across the globe.
In addition to being an environment-friendly vehicle, it is also claimed to be cost efficient and economical for users.
The eCanter has a range of 100km and a load capacity of two to three tonnes, depending on body and usage. The vehicle’s electric powertrain contains six high voltage lithium ion battery packs with 420V and 13.8kW/h each.
The battery packs are being delivered from the 100 percent Daimler subsidiary Accumotive in Kamenz, Germany.
Daimler says the Fuso eCanter has benefitted from extensive experience of customer trials conducted in Portugal and Germany with the pre-series between 2014 and 2017.
In comparison with a conventional diesel truck, it offers savings up to 1,000 Euros ($1483) per 10,000km on operating costs.
Fuso has a long history in alternative drivetrains for trucks. Series production of the Canter Eco Hybrid began in 2006, while the second generation has been in production since 2012.
At the 2010 IAA Commercial Vehcle Show in Hannover, Germany, Fuso presented a first prototype of an electrically powered Canter E-Cell, leading into a pre-series production for testing purposes in 2014.
An outlook on the Fuso eCanter small series celebrated its world premiere at the IAA in 2016 and the commercialised series-production eCanter will be globally launched in New York in September.