Mitsubishi Fuso starts production in Europe of the eCanter—the world’s first series-produced, all-electric, light medium-duty truck
- FUSO celebrates the start of short-series production run for the eCanter at its Tramagal plant in Portugal
- First customer vehicles of the eCanter to be delivered within the upcoming months
- President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and other high-ranking political representatives in attendance
- Marc Llistosella, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation and Head of Daimler Trucks Asia: "With today's start of production of the eCanter, we become the first global manufacturer to produce an all-electric truck in series. From now on, we can address the growing demand for locally emission-free delivery trucks in Mega-Cities. We have already received the first customer orders and will mark the global launch of this truck in New York, one of the world's most iconic Mega-Cities, this September. Our Portuguese plant not only produces the trucks for Europe and the US, but has also benefitted from a close cooperation with the authorities in Portugal and Lisbon, having tested the trucks there since 2014."
Logan Township, NJ / Tramagal — Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) has announced the start of production of the world’s first all electric light medium-duty truck, the FUSO eCanter. The launch celebration was held at the production plant in Tramagal, Portugal, where all eCanter trucks for the European and U.S. markets will be produced in line with the conventional FUSO diesel trucks.
The Portuguese government has been supporting the development of the eCanter since the early stages in 2010. The President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, joined members of the government, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck Europe and MFTBC executives at the event.
Marc Llistosella, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation and Head of Daimler Trucks Asia, said at the occasion, “With today’s start of production of the eCanter, we become the first global manufacturer to produce an all-electric truck in series. From now on, we can address the growing demand for locally emission-free delivery trucks in Mega-Cities. We already received the first customer orders and will mark the global launch of this truck in New York, one of the world’s most iconic Mega-Cities, this September. Our Portuguese plant not only produces the trucks for Europe and the US, but has also benefitted from a close cooperation with the authorities in Portugal and Lisbon, having tested the trucks there since 2014.”
Fully Electric Trucks in Customer Hands
In May, MFTBC announced its first commercial customer in the Japanese market: Seven-Eleven Co., Ltd. will be operating 25 units of the new eCanter in their fleet within this year.
After unveiling the first charging station for trucks in Japan in May of this year, and starting production at the Kawasaki plant in Japan on July 7th, MFTBC, today, marks the beginning of manufacturing of the eCanter outside of Japan. With these milestones, MFTBC begins paving the way for the company’s first 100-percent-electric commercial vehicle.
After entering small-scale series production, the natural next step will be large-scale series production in the future. The experiences from this small series in customer hands will also help FUSO for the large-scale production in the coming year. The FUSO eCanter is produced in line with the conventional Canter light duty truck at the Tramagal plant. Only the electric-powertrain-specific components will be installed in specific boxes along the production line. The vehicles coming from Tramagal, Portugal, will be handed over to customers within Europe and the US within the next month.
The eCanter at a Glance
The all-electric light medium-duty truck is FUSO’s answer to the public’s need for a zero-emission and zero-noise truck for inner-city distribution. It helps to solve the increasing noise and pollution problems in urban environments across the globe. In addition to being an environment-friendly vehicle, it is also cost efficient and economical for users. The eCanter has a range of 60–100 miles and a load capacity of two to three tons – depending on body and usage. The vehicle’s electric powertrain contains six high-voltage lithium ion battery packs, rated 420V and 13.8kWh each.
The battery packs are being delivered from the 100-percent Daimler subsidiary Accumotive in Kamenz, Germany.
The FUSO eCanter benefits from extensive experience of customer trials conducted in Portugal and Germany with the Pre-series between 2014-17. In comparison with a conventional diesel truck, it offers savings up to $1890 per 10,000 miles on operating costs. It also offers significant reduction of CO2 emissions.
FUSO has a long history in alternative drivetrains for trucks. Series production of the Canter Eco Hybrid began in 2006, while the second generation has been in production since 2012.
At the 2010 IAA, FUSO presented a first prototype of an electrically powered Canter E-Cell, leading into a Pre-series production for testing purposes in 2014. An outlook on the FUSO eCanter small series celebrated its world premiere at the IAA in 2016 and the commercialized series-production eCanter will be globally launched in New York in September of this year.
Tramagal – a Plant with a Wealth of Experience
The Tramagal plant in Portugal, around 150 kilometers north-east of Lisbon, has a long and varied history. It was founded in 1964 as a joint venture of the Portuguese family-run business Duarte Ferreira and the former French truck manufacturer Berliet. In 1980, the plant began with CKD (completely knocked down) assembly for Mitsubishi Fuso. In the following years, the company assembled the FUSO Canter light duty truck and other Mitsubishi Fuso vehicles for the Portuguese market. Ten years later, the plant was purchased by Mitsubishi Motors Portugal. In 1996, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation took over the plant as the central production location for the FUSO Canter for Western Europe. The plant became part of Daimler AG in 2003 after the automaker acquired the majority share of Mitsubishi Fuso.
The plant covers a surface of 1,722,225 square feet. More than 400 employees produce FUSO Canters for around 30 European countries, Israel, Morocco and Turkey. Now, they will also produce the eCanter for the U.S. market, and will start later this year to produce components for the new FUSO FE Series Gas trucks to be assembled in the United States. Almost 95 percent of the vehicles are exported. Since 2012, the Tramagal employees have also produced the FUSO Canter Eco Hybrid, the hybrid version of the Canter.
About Mitsubishi Fuso
Headquartered in Logan Township, NJ, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. (FUSO) is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks Asia, Kawasaki, Japan, an integral part of the Daimler Trucks Division of Daimler AG. With a heritage of more than 30 years in North America, FUSO is focused on delivering trucks with the lowest cost-of-ownership in their class. Its Class 3-5 diesel-powered, medium-duty cabover trucks are available through more than 200 dealer locations throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Guam. More than 100,000 Mitsubishi Fuso standard, 4-wheel-drive and crew cab trucks have been sold in North America to fulfill the transportation needs of a wide variety of businesses and industries, including beverage, catering, refrigerated and dry cargo delivery fleets, vehicle recovery, towing, pest control, plumbing, light construction and landscaping. For more information, visit www.mitfuso.com, follow FusoTruck on Twitter, or like FusoTruck on Facebook.
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Bryan C. Allen
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc.