Mitsubishi Fuso plans to bring a new line of electric work trucks to the North American market.
The division of German automotive giant Daimler AG, which owns Mercedes-Benz, introduced Fuso’s eCanter electric truck at the 2017 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis on Wednesday.
Fuso said it will be the first fully-electric work truck designed and produced by a major truck manufacturer. The first models will be delivered to U.S. customers later this year.
“We want Fuso to be the Tesla of electric trucks,” said Jecka Glasman, chief executive of Fuso.
Glasman told Trucks.com that increased congestion in city centers and a global movement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution will create a market for electric trucks.
By 2030 approximately 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities with populations between one and 10 million people, Glasman said.
“Goods will still need to be delivered,” she said. “The all-electric trucks will be a good option.”
The eCanter is designed for densely populated areas such as Manhattan and Brooklyn where there is a constant need for refrigerated food delivery and urban cargo hauling, said Otto Schmid, director of product management for Fuso.
“This is a positive development for businesses that can benefit from fuel savings,” said Luke Tonachel, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s clean vehicles and fuels project. “There are communities that absolutely need these cleaner trucks to reduce pollution, especially near roadways and ports.”
The truck will have a range of 100 miles per charge. Fuso plans a lease-only plan for two years and expects to rapidly replace this first model with a new version with greater range and technology.
Glasman said Fuso plans to charge a 15 percent to 20 percent premium for the electric truck over its comparable diesel truck.
Standard equipment on the eCanter includes six Mercedes-Benz liquid-cooled, 360V, 82.8 kWh lithium-ion batteries. The gross vehicle weight rating is 15,995 pounds and it has a payload capacity of 9,380 pounds. It’s charging time is about eight hours.
The truck will be among the first from Fuso that will employ Mobileye’s 6 Series Collision Avoidance System.
“We recognize that driver efficiency and safety have direct impact on the bottom line for all of our Fuso customers,” Schmid said.
Fuso has found in testing that the Mobileye system slashed the number of incidents that trigger warnings for tailgating, lane departure, urban and rural highway collision by 50 percent, Glasman said.
At the same time Fuso announced its electric truck it also launched a new gasoline-powered FE Series work truck.
The truck will have a V8 gas-powered engine and will be assembled by Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp.at a factory in South Carolina. Freightliner is also a Daimler division.
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