Electric cars might get a lot of the fanfare, but when it comes to cutting CO2 emissions bigger electrified vehicles will also have an important part to play. Daimler is intent on playing some role in this green transformation, its latest move being to introduce the Mitsubishi Fuso eCanter in the US, describing it as the first series production all-electric truck.
Daimler's Mitsubishi Fuso eCanter all-electric truck has been in the works for a while. The six-tonne light duty vehicle has already been trialed in Portugal and Germany, where the freight companies taking part found them to be up to 64 percent less expensive than diesel trucks to run.
Designed for short delivery routes in urban centers, the eCanter has a range of 100 km (62 mi) and is powered by six 13.8-kWh battery packs mounted to its frame. Daimler says when compared to a conventional diesel trucks, the eCanter offers savings of up to €1,000 (US$1,135) for every 10,000 km (6,214 mi) traveled.
UPS will soon be able to see for itself, signing a deal with Daimler that will see four eCanters join its US fleet. In addition, the electric trucks will also be supplied to four New York-based not-for-profits: the Wildlife Conservation Society, New York Botanical Garden, Habitat for Humanity New York City, and Big Reuse Brooklyn. Daimler plans to deliver 500 eCanter trucks to customers in the US, Europe and Japan over the next two years, with production expected to ramp up in 2019.
"In times, when everybody is talking about electric trucks, we are the first to actually commercialize a series produced all-electric truck," said Marc Llistosella, head of Daimler Trucks Asia. "Having a long history in alternative drivetrains, we are proud to step into this new era. Our FUSO eCanter comes with years of customer testing, and the assurance of parts, services, and warranty through our global FUSO dealership network."