FUSO has successfully completed testing of its new battery-powered and locally emission-free Canter E-Cell truck at the Daimler Trucks Centre of Competence for Hybrid Technology.
The Canter E-Cell is one of the first light-duty trucks built in small-series production that operates without emissions and is almost silent.
The truck is planned to be used in areas that are sensitive to emissions and noise such as city centres, parks and pedestrian zones.
To prove the practicality of the Canter E-Cell, FUSO sent eight vehicles of the electrically powered Canter on a field trial in mid-2014. All eight vehicles travelled the roads of Portugal and were permanently monitored and analysed during the one-year field trial. The Canter E-Cell trucks were equipped with platforms and box bodies. They were operated by couriers and freight forwarding agents as well as by municipalities and public works departments.
No faults after 32,000 miles driven
On average, the electric Canter trucks travelled 50 kilometres a day, but ranges of up to 109 kilometres were achieved in practice.
In total, the eight vehicles travelled 32,000 miles (51,500km) without any problems. The most used Canter E-Cell was in service with Transporta parcel service company and completed a distance of over 8,700 miles (14,000km) during the one-year trial.
The range of the lithium-ion batteries stabilised at 62 miles (100km) per charge when charged on a 230-volt outlet for about seven hours. That time is cut to just one hour on a quick charging system.
Savings in operating costs of up to 64%
Calculated on the basis of today’s cost of diesel fuel and electricity in Portugal, the trial produced savings in operating costs of up to 64 percent compared with a conventional diesel truck. In practical terms, this means a Canter diesel truck burns about 14.08 litres of diesel fuel over a distance of 100 kilometres, depending on set-up and freight, while the FUSO Canter E-Cell consumes 47.6 kWh of electricity over the same distance. The amount of savings will therefore differ depending on the costs of diesel and electricity in a particular country.
Municipalities and the postal service to parcel service companies
The customers experienced the Canter E-Cell as a strong and reliable concept that fully lives up to the requirements of urban delivery transport. The capabilities of the electric light-duty truck were tested under a wide range of conditions.
The City of Lisbon used the Canter E-Cell for the disposal of vegetation and waste, the City of Porto used it as a collection vehicle for recyclables, the City of Sintra for forest management and the cities of Abrantes and Cascais likewise for landscape maintenance. Transporta parcel service used the vehicle for door-to-door deliveries to households, energy supplier REN for transport purposes within the industrial gas depots in the cities of Sines and Pombal.
Finally, the Canter E-Cell also assisted the Portuguese postal service CTT with transport operations between the distribution centres of Lisbon and Coimbras.
The results of the practical tests show that the eight vehicles stood the test of daily use in short-distance delivery and city centre transport. With operating ranges of more than 100km, the Canter E-Cell trucks surpassed the average distance that many trucks used in light-duty distribution transport travel each day.
The results of the practical tests have shown that we are on the right track. During the trial phase, the customers experienced the Canter E-Cell as a strong and reliable concept that lives up to the requirements of daily urban delivery transport”, said Marc Llistosella, President and CEO of Mitsubishi FUSO Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) and Head of Daimler Trucks Asia at the first presentation of the results.
The Portuguese government co-financed the research project through IAPMEI, the State Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation.
Six-tonne truck with a chassis load-bearing capacity of almost 3000kg
From the outside, the FUSO Canter E-Cell is only distinguished from its diesel-powered or diesel-electric powered brethren by the battery packs mounted to the two sides of the frame. An electric powertrain takes the place of the three-litre diesel engine behind the unchanged Canter cab. The permanent magnet motor sends 110 kilowatts (150 hp) of power to the rear axle via a one-speed transmission.
The chassis frame is approved for a total weight of six tonnes. The wheelbase of 4300 millimetres offers space for bodies up to 4.40 metres in length, the weight of which must be subtracted from the chassis load-bearing capacity of three tonnes. The remaining payload of a little over two tonnes is more than adequate for most transports in urban distribution operations.