Daimler Trucks, the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, has recently handed over the world’s first all-electric light-duty (7.5-tonne) truck in series production, the Fuso eCanter, to some UK customers.
The three customers to operate the all-new Fuso eCanter in the UK are delivery firm DPD, flour milling giant Hovis and logistics business Wincanton PLC. Especially engineered for urban distribution systems, the eCanter will play an important part of these companies’ environmentally-friendly credentials.
The eCanter has a GVW of 7.49 tons and a payload of up to 4.5 tons depending on body and use case. Powered by six high-voltage lithium-ion batteries with 420 V and 13.8 kWh each, the electric drivetrain with a permanent-magnet-motor delivers 129 kW (180hp) via a single-gear transmission in the rear axle. A single charge allows effective operating ranges of over 100km, which is more than enough for inner-city distribution. With the emission-free eCanter, customers not only contribute in shaping a sustainable urban environment, but are able to reduce their operational costs by up to 1,000 Euro for every 10,000 kilometres they use the vehicles, compared to conventional diesel trucks.
Marc Llistosella, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation and Head of Daimler Trucks Asia said: “After our launches in New York, Tokyo and Berlin, we are proud to hand over the all-electric eCanter to visionary customers in London today. As an emission-free and quiet alternative to conventional trucks, the eCanter is the ideal solution for sustainable urban delivery. But we do not stop here. Having access to Daimler’s vast global network, we are committed to cooperate with and support local governments in building an E-ecosystem and necessary infrastructure to facilitate the growth of environmentally-friendly distribution systems. At the same time, we are excited to be able to work with cities such as London as they work to create a greener and more sustainable urban environment in the UK.”
Mike Belk, Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz & Fuso Trucks UK said: “Today is an historic day for London’s transport operators. Fully electric trucks are no longer science fiction – we at Daimler are already manufacturing them and now we’re putting them into operation with well-known customers. We’re pleased to build on our relationships with DPD, Hovis and Wincanton in this way, as they clearly believe the FUSO eCanter is a viable proposition for their urban distribution business.”
Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “Emissions from heavy goods vehicles represent one of the biggest environmental challenges we face in the transport sector. Daimler’s development of vehicles that can operate with zero emissions in urban areas, reducing pollution and noise, represents an exciting prospect.”
Customers opting for a green alternative in delivering their goods
Between them, DPD, Hovis and Wincanton will operate several eCanter trucks in their fleets for deliveries in and around London. The companies have each shown their commitment to sustainable fleet operations by investing in the vehicles, and each is looking forward to reductions in operational costs, not to mention noise and emissions.
DPD is an international delivery business distributing 4.8 million parcels per day in over 200 countries worldwide. In the UK, DPD employs over 6,000 people and operates 2,340 vehicles in its fleet. The logistics business is going to operate two FUSO eCanters for the first two years.
Hovis is a baking and flour milling business headquartered in High Wycombe, employing around 3,200 people at bakeries, flour mills and distribution centres in the UK. Its milling business processes over 800,000 tons of wheat per year, supplying flour to craft and industrial bakers across the UK and Ireland. Hovis will run two vehicles initially.
Wincanton PLC is Britain’s largest logistics firm with approximately 17,500 employees at more than 200 sites. It will add five FUSO eCanter trucks to its fleet of 3,600 vehicles, and the company aims to develop a UK-wide sustainable road transport and distribution system.
The Fuso ECanter – A journey towards electrification
With years of extensive development and over 90,000 kilometers of thorough testing in Europe and Japan, the eCanter is the world’s first all-electric light-duty truck in series-production. The eCanter was developed by Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp. (MFTBC) and is produced in Tramagal, Portugal for the European and US markets and in Kawasaki, Japan for customers in Asia. Following its global launch in New York in September 2017, the first eCanter vehicles were committed for delivery to companies such as UPS in the US, Yamato and 7-Eleven in Japan, and DHL, DB Schenker, Rhenus and Dachser in Germany.
FUSO has a long history in the development of alternative drivetrains. The Canter Eco-Hybrid has been in production since 2005, offering customers a light-duty truck with a hybrid drivetrain. At the International Motor Show (IAA) 2010 for commercial vehicles in Germany, Fuso presented the Canter E-Cell, a prototype of an electric Canter. This was followed by extensive customer testing in Portugal and Germany between 2014 and 2017.
In 2017, MFTBC launched E-Fuso, a product brand exclusively dedicated to electric trucks and buses. Over the course of the next years, Fuso is committed to incrementally electrifying its entire product portfolio depending on feasibility and technological advancements. Here, Daimler’s vast pool of resources and know-how in the electrification of vehicles comes to the fore.