Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Fuso
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) has announced it will electrify its complete range of trucks and buses in upcoming years. The company launched E-Fuso, a product brand exclusively dedicated to electric mobility of trucks and buses, and unveiled its all-electric heavy-duty truck concept.
This initiative will be backed by access to parent company Daimler’s know-how in the fields of battery and charging technology.
The E-Fuso Vision One concept has a range of 200 miles. It has a gross vehicle weight of 23 tons and carries a payload of approx. 11 tons, only two tons less than its diesel counterpart. It can be fitted with batteries up to 300 kilowatt hours, enabling a range of up to 200 miles on a single charge. A potential application for the Vision One heavy-duty truck is regional intra-city distribution.
Last month, the company launched its eCanter, the first serial-produced, all-electric medium-duty truck. It has a gross vehicle weight rating of 15,995 lbs. and a range of 60 to 80 miles on a single charge.
While autonomus trucks are still a ways off, electric trucks are more likely to become a reality in the immediate future. Nielsen pointed out that the Mitsubishi Fuso eCanter, owned by DTNA’s parent company, is being tested by two big carriers — UPS in the U.S. and 7-11 in Japan.
At the American Trucking Associations annual meeting in Orlando, FL, this week, Roger Nielsen, Daimler Trucks America president and CEO, said, "With eCanter we really have the first commercially viable electrified battery electric vehicle in the market being sold in volume," Nielsen said. "We have it out on a two-year lease. We call this eCanter version 1.0 and version 2.0 will be introduced in two years.”
"Version 2.0 will be a vehicle that is designed from the ground up to be electric. You’ll see weight taken out of it and power put into it to increase the range."
In Europe, Daimler has also created the Mercedes Urban eTruck, a medium truck with a range about double that of the eCanter and the type of GVWs that make sense on heavier vehicles. Trials are going on with eight customers.
In the U.S. DTNA is working to electrify a Cascadia for the heavy-duty market, and “you will see it rather soon on the road,” Nielsen said. “We won’t put out a press release on it and drive it and see if you guys can catch up to us.”