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Clean Transport

Daimler Truck Subsidiary FUSO Announces Production Start of Next Generation eCanter

With increased power, enhanced efficiency, and an extended range, the Next Generation eCanter from FUSO offers a wide array of applications and operates with zero CO2 emissions during driving. After making its European debut at the IAA Transportation in Hanover in September 2022, Daimler Truck subsidiary FUSO has commenced the production of this all-electric light truck in Europe. The Mitsubishi FUSO Europe (MFTE) production facility in Tramagal, Portugal, hosted an event where company representatives, political figures, and business leaders gathered to commemorate the first Next Generation eCanter rolling off the European assembly line.

“We at Daimler Truck are fully committed to the Paris Climate Agreement and making sustainable transport a success, which is why we aim to offer only CO2-neutral vehicles in our core global markets by 2039,” said Karl Deppen, CEO Daimler Truck Asia. “An important part of that is supporting our customers’ transition to eMobility with the easy, efficient and electric eCanter starting production here in Tramagal. With this, we are taking an important step closer to CO2-neutral transportation.”

During the event, Karl Deppen and Arne Barden, CEO of MFTE, proudly revealed a significant achievement for the Tramagal facility: the production of the 250,000th FUSO Canter on site. Arne Barden stated, “The MFTE team takes pride in manufacturing the iconic fifth-generation FUSO Canter here at Tramagal. We extend our gratitude to the highly dedicated team who successfully managed the ramp-up of the Next Generation eCanter.” The Tramagal-based MFTE plant has been producing the FUSO Canter since 1980.

Prior to the event, media representatives were given the chance to personally explore the new vehicles through a factory tour and an exclusive driving event at the Autódromo do Estoril and on nearby public roads. This allowed them to experience the performance of the Next Generation eCanter firsthand. During the driving event, FUSO Europe experts offered in-depth information about the new vehicle’s application versatility and shared details about tailored e-mobility solutions.

The New eCanter

Since the introduction of the eCanter in 2017, FUSO, a Japanese subsidiary of Daimler Truck, has been recognized as a pioneer and leader in electric trucks, consistently working towards sustainable transportation solutions. Presently, over 550 FUSO eCanters are in operation across Europe, Japan, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. The global eCanter fleet has collectively covered approximately eight million kilometers in all-electric and locally emission-free mode, which is equivalent to around 200 trips around the Earth.

The Next Generation eCanter aims to elevate this success story even further.

The manufacturing of the all-electric light truck commenced in the first quarter at its sister facility in Kawasaki, Japan. The FUSO Next Generation eCanter produced in Kawasaki will be available in Japan and all other non-European markets globally. In Europe, the FUSO Next Generation eCanter sales will initially begin in 17 countries, including France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Slovakia, Greece, and Poland.

To better address customer needs, FUSO has implemented several enhancements in the Next Generation eCanter. Previously, the electric truck was solely available as a 7.49-ton vehicle with a 3,400-millimeter wheelbase. Now, customers can choose from six wheelbase options ranging from 2,500 to 4,750 millimeters and a permissible gross vehicle weight of 4.25 to 8.55 tons. The chassis load capacity is up to 5 tons. The Next Generation eCanter is powered by either a 110 kW (for 4.25 and 6-ton variants) or 129 kW (for 7.49 and 8.55-ton variants) electric motor, featuring an optimized driveline and 430 Nm of torque. The maximum speed is electronically limited to 89 km/h.

Based on the wheelbase, customers can choose from three distinct battery pack options: S, M, and L. These packs utilize lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cell technology, which is known for its long service life and increased usable energy. The S variant has a nominal capacity of 41 kWh, providing a range of up to 70 kilometers. The M variant has a nominal capacity of 83 kWh and a range of up to 140 kilometers. The most powerful package, the L variant, offers a nominal capacity of 124 kWh and a range of up to 200 kilometers.

This exceeds the typical daily distance covered in light distribution traffic. Recuperation can further extend the range, simultaneously reducing charging breaks. In comparison, the earlier eCanter model only offered a single battery option with a nominal capacity of 81 kWh and a range of up to 100 kilometers.

When it comes to battery charging, the Next Generation eCanter is compatible with all primary voltages in major markets. The charging unit accommodates both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) charging. The Combined Charging System (CCS) serves as the standard for charging, with a maximum charging capacity of up to 104 kW. DC fast charging from 20 to 80 percent capacity can be achieved in approximately 24 (S), 26 (M), and 39 minutes (L), depending on the battery pack. AC charging (11 and 22 kW) takes between approximately four and six hours, depending on the chosen battery pack.

The Production Plant

As a component of its comprehensive environmental strategy, the MFTE plant in Tramagal has progressively reduced its CO2 emissions over the past few years. By the end of 2022, the facility aims to achieve CO2-neutral production. To reach this milestone, MFTE has expanded the utilization of renewable energy sources and completed the transition to green power. Currently, 1,200 solar panels on the building roofs generate up to 350 megawatts of electricity per year, with future goals set at producing up to 600 megawatts. In addition to expanding photovoltaic systems, the plant is also exploring technologies for the local production of green hydrogen.

Another sustainability initiative at the site involves reducing water consumption. The facility’s new water treatment plant already treats over 60% of process water, returning it to the production cycle. Simultaneously, an optimized rainwater collection system is being developed for more sustainable irrigation of green spaces. Mitsubishi FUSO Europe employs around 500 people in Tramagal and is the largest employer in the region. From Portugal, the vehicles are distributed to 32 European countries and Morocco. As a major exporter and the third-largest vehicle manufacturer in Portugal, Mitsubishi FUSO Truck Europe plays a significant role in the country’s automotive industry.

The “Made in Europe” label for the FUSO Next Generation eCanter not only pertains to the vehicle assembly in Tramagal but also highlights that over 50 percent of the electric truck’s components are sourced from more than 90 different European suppliers. In tandem with the production of the all-electric FUSO eCanter, MFTE has been progressively converting its entire internal logistics and warehouse fleet to locally emission-free, electric vehicles since the previous year.

So, this is a vehicle that will not only perform environmentally, but gets it right even before it’s built!

Featured image provided by Daimler Truck.

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Written By

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.


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