Saturday 20 September 2014

Electric Fuso Canter now with customers

 Eight Fuso Canter E-Cell 6-tonne GVW trucks have been put into “real-life testing” with customers in Portugal for a year

Mitsubishi Fuso, Daimler’s partner in Japan, claims to be a pioneer of "green" drive systems for the commercial vehicle sector. The subsidiary in Japan is Daimler Trucks' centre of competence for hybrid technology.

 Mitsubishi Fuso has also been responsible for developing the new battery-electric-powered “Zero Emission” Canter E-Cell. The Canter E-Cell light duty truck for Europe is manufactured at the Tramagal plant in Portugal.

The capabilities of these electrically-powered light-duty trucks will be put to the test under a wide range of conditions. The city of Lisbon will use the Canter E-Cell for horticultural and waste disposal purposes, while the city of Porto will use its vehicle as a means of transport between its various municipal buildings and the city of Abrantes similarly in the field of horticulture.

Transporta will use its Canter E-Cell for house-to-house deliveries as part of its short-radius distribution service, while energy supplier REN will use its vehicle for transport purposes within the port area of the town of Sines, to the south of Lisbon. Lastly, Canter E-Cell vehicles will help the Portuguese national postal service CTT with transport runs between its distribution centres in Lisbon.

Compared with the prototype that first appeared in 2010, the latest model has now seen considerable further development. Based on the chassis of the conventional Canter the design allows a permissible gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 6 tonnes. The chassis payload is some 3 tonnes.

The electric motor has a performance of 110 kW (150 bhp) and maximum torque of 650 Nm. Power transmission to the rear axle is through a single-speed transmission. Both cardan shaft and rear axle have been adopted from the standard Canter.

With an electric motor, maximum torque is available immediately on start-up. The top speed of the Canter E-Cell, as with all vehicles in this weight class, is limited to 90 km/h.

The battery capacity offers a range of 100 km, but this depends on duty and climatic conditions.

Located on each side of the frame are a total of four battery packs, accommodated in two fully encapsulated boxes. The Lithium-ion batteries, supplied by Tokyo R&D have a nominal capacity of 48.4 kWh.

Battery charging at 230 volts takes around seven hours, though rapid-charging system can reduce this to one hour.

The handover of E-Cell trucks to customers highlights the 50th anniversary year for the Tramagal plant which is some 150 km to the north-east of the Portuguese capital Lisbon It is the main production plant for Fuso Canter in Europe. Last year the plant built some 4.000 Canters.

Although 2011, Daimler Trucks has invested €27 million at Tramagal, the Portuguese government is understood to have supported the Canter E-Cell which is built on a special production line for prototype models.

Since 2012, the Tramagal plant has been building hybrid variants of the truck, the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid, which can cut fuel consumption by as much as 23 per cent.

Meanwhile, Japanese electric vehicle maker Tokyo R&D is planning to start making trains using electric vehicle (EV) technology for sightseeing in Kytoto. The company has also been supplying EV buses to municipalities in Akita and Miyagi Prefectures in Japan and has plans to spread its EV technology to various types of vehicles including commercial vehicles and trams.

Tokyo R&D is an independent engineering company specialising in the production of special vehicles and has a background of designing racing cars.

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