Daimler Shows Off Electric-Powered Fuso eCanter

UPS Fuso eCanter
UPS Fuso eCanter by John Sommers II for Transport Topics

ATLANTA — Daimler Trucks North America expanded the powertrain offerings of its medium-duty Fuso cabovers with the introduction of an electric-powered version of its Fuso Canter truck, and a gasoline option for its FE-Series model.

The powertrain of the Class 4 all-electric Fuso eCanter contains six 420-volt Mercedes-Benz lithium-ion battery packs with a total capacity of 82.8 kWh. The truck has a gross vehicle weight rating of 15,995 pounds, a range of more than 60 miles and a body/payload capacity of approximately 9,380 pounds, depending on body and usage, DTNA said in a release issued here at the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle show. The company said that the eCanter offers operating cost savings up to $2,000 per 10,000 miles of operation when compared to an equivalent diesel truck.

“This is really more than a product launch for us; it is a game changer, a revolution in the making,” Fuso CEO Jecka Glasman said.

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The first production models will reach customers this year in the United States, Europe and Japan, and Fuso plans to deliver 500 units of this generation to customers within the next two years. Larger scale production is intended to start in 2019. Plus, Fuso Vice President for Sales Operations Bill Lyons noted during the presentation that the next generation eCanter is already under development.

Near-term, the first U.S. commercial partner for the eCanter will be UPS.

“At UPS, we constantly evaluate and deploy advanced technologies that enable sustainable, innovative solutions for our fleet,” said Carlton Rose, UPS president for global fleet maintenance and engineering. “Electric trucks make our fleet both cleaner and quieter, adding to our already more than 8,500 alternative drivetrain vehicles in service today.”

Other initial customers for the truck are coming through the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is working with Fuso to supply a fleet of eCanters to New York-based not-for-profits, including the Wildlife Conservation Society, New York Botanical Garden, Habitat for Humanity New York City and Big Reuse Brooklyn.


The Fuso FE160. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

Operations looking for a gasoline-powered option will soon have it when Fuso adds a General Motors 6.0 engine to its FE-series lineup. The FE140 and FE160 will get the engine first; the gas-powered FE180 is still under development, Glasman said. All three trucks will also get an Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission, and will also offer power takeoff capability.

The gas-powered FE-series trucks will be the first Fuso vehicles assembled in the United States, at Daimler’s Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation factory in Gaffney, S.C., using engines and transmissions built in the U.S., and chassis, cabs and axles sourced from Fuso in Europe and Japan.

Customer trials for a limited number of the gas trucks are scheduled to start in the fourth quarter, with full market launch to follow in the first quarter of 2018, as a 2019 model, Fuso said.