One year after the hand-over of Fuso Canter E-Cell trucks to selected customers, the trials for the battery-electric-powered “Zero Emission” vehicle were officially completed in Portugal. At an event held in Lisbon, Paulo Portas, Deputy Prime Minister of Portugal, representatives of government authorities, customers as well as the management of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck Europe and Daimler Trucks drew a positive conclusion from the real-life performance of the trucks.
“The Mitsubishi Fuso Canter E-Cell project is a great example of innovation and collaboration between the Portuguese government, its agencies, Mitsubishi Fuso and Daimler Trucks”, said Marc Llistosella, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) and Head of Daimler Trucks Asia.
The Portuguese government co-funded the research project through IAPMEI, the Public Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation.
“The vehicle underlines our commitment to thinking ahead and developing sustainable and reliable transportation solutions to the benefit of our customers and society as a whole. The results of the trials prove that we are on the right track. The customers in the test trial experienced the Canter E-Cell as an efficient and reliable concept fully meeting the demands of urban delivery transport”, Llistosella added.
MFTBC is the centre of competence for hybrid technology within Daimler Trucks. Based on this experience, the Daimler subsidiary has also been responsible for developing the Fuso Canter E-Cell.
Customers used vehicles for a wide range of purposes
First findings from the trials with eight vehicles indicate the vehicles proved adequate for everyday use in short range delivery and inner city transportation. The trucks achieved a range of more than 100 kilometers, thus exceeding the average distance many short-radius distribution trucks usually travel per day. The Fuso Canter E-Cell reached a payload of two tonnes, an amount necessary for customers to operate their fleet efficiently. At the same time, preliminary analysis points to cost savings of about 1.000€ per 10.000 km compared to conventional diesel trucks.
The capabilities of these electrically-powered light-duty trucks were put to the test under a wide range of conditions. The city of Lisbon used the Canter E-Cell for horticultural and waste disposal purposes, the city of Porto as a means of collecting recyclable waste, the city of Sintra in forest maintenance, the city of Abrantes and Cascais similarly in the field of horticulture. The company Transporta used the vehicle for house-to-house deliveries as part of its short-radius distribution service, the energy supplier REN for transport purposes within industrial gas storage facilities located in the cities of Sines and Pombal. And lastly, the Canter E-Cell helped the Portuguese national postal service CTT with transport runs between its distribution centers in the cities of Lisbon and Coimbra.
Tramagal plant is part of Daimler Trucks’ global production network
The Fuso Canter E-Cell vehicles were produced at the Tramagal plant, located about 150 kilometers northeast of Lisbon. It extends over a surface of 39,900 square meters. Its more than 300 employees produce Fuso Canter trucks for around 30 European countries, Israel, Morocco and Turkey. Almost 95 percent of the vehicles are exported. Since 2012, the Tramagal employees also produce the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid, the hybrid version of the truck.
The Tramagal facility is incorporated into Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation’s global production network to enable the plant to meet the internationally valid quality standards for the Fuso Canter and exploit the advantages of collaboration. The main production plant Kawasaki primarily supplies the body panels, the axle parts, the steering system, the heating and climate-control systems, and the DUONIC dual-clutch transmission, as well as the electric drive components of the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid. The Tramagal plant also benefits the local economy. In terms of monetary value, around 50 percent of the Canter’s parts are provided by 60 European suppliers; half of them are based in Portugal and Spain. These parts include the chassis, the engine, the axle components, the springs, the brakes, the tires, the headlights, the seats, and much of the interior trim.
MFTBC, which employs approximately 11,000 men and women, is Daimler’s biggest subsidiary in Japan. Its headquarter and its most important production plant are located in Kawasaki near Tokyo. With its Mitsubishi Fuso brand, MFTBC accounts more than 40 percent of Daimler trucks’ global sales. As a result, Mitsubishi Fuso is the group’s highest-volume truck brand. Fuso trucks and buses are sold in over 150 countries all over the world. More than 170,000 vehicles are produced annually in Kawasaki for the Japanese and international markets.