Daimler Trucks, the world’s leading truck producer, has launched the first fleet test for emission-free, electric trucks in Germany. Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Daimler Trucks & Daimler Buses, and Marc Llistosella, President and CEO of the Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) and Head of Daimler Trucks Asia, handed over the five battery-powered Fuso Canter E-Cells to Stuttgart’s mayor, Fritz Kuhn, and the Hermes Logistics Company.

Daimler Trucks’ Fuso brand is the leading producer of partially and all-electric light-duty trucks. The Daimler Truck branch invested in 2014 and 2015 in total 2.5 Billion Euro in research and development with the focus on connectivity, safety and drive efficiency. Within the efficiency topic electric mobility of course plays a major role. The Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corporation (MFTBC) invested 40 Million Euro in the development of electric driving so far.

Over the next twelve months, the Municipality of Stuttgart will test four 6-tonne Fuso Canter E-Cell in a tough everyday working environment. Two vehicles with hydraulic tipper bodies are to be deployed in road construction and landscaping. Two vehicles with box bodies will be assigned to municipal furniture transport and waste disposal operations. Another Canter E-Cell will carry out parcel deliveries in urban traffic for the Hermes Company.

Electrically powered trucks predestined for urban short-radius distribution

Dr Bernhard noted at the handover ceremony: “Today’s combustion engine is highly efficient, eco-friendly and, above all, clean. In long-distance transport it will remain the only option for a long time to come. In urban short-radius distribution, a partial switch to electric trucks will become technically feasible and economically viable within a few years’ time. With this fleet test, we are making a small yet important contribution to urban mobility in Stuttgart. Daimler Trucks is pushing ahead with the further development of this technology. Together with the Municipality of Stuttgart and the Hermes Company, we are taking a key step towards market maturity today.”

Marc Llistosella emphasised: “We at Fuso have acquired extensive experience in the development of local emission-free commercial vehicles. I am firmly convinced that the Canter E-Cell will now proof its strengths in the German climate and in the topographically very demanding area of urban Stuttgart. The Canter E-Cell offers our customers transport services which are not only environment-friendly, but also economical. Our test in Lisbon revealed savings of around 1000 euros per 10,000 kilometres in comparison to diesel trucks.”

Stuttgart’s mayor, Fritz Kuhn, observed: “Sustainable mobility is a key issue for cities and electric mobility is an important element. This is where the Municipality of Stuttgart is showing the way. We’ve decided to make a change to our fleet: all new cars purchased by the Municipality will be electric. I think this sends out a very strong signal. So we’re also very happy to test the four Canter E-Cell vehicles in day-to-day city traffic.”

“Daimler and Hermes are united by a long and joint tradition in the promotion of alternative drives”, explains Dirk Rahn, Managing Director Operations at Hermes Logistics Group Germany. “As a pioneer in the industry, we as a company were among the first to test the early electric vehicles under real-world conditions. We are similarly proud today to be using the new electric 6-tonne truck for our parcel deliveries. The project is part of our long-term climate protection programme, under which we intend to systematically halve the CO2 emissions of our fleet by 2020.

We are very pleased to have found, in Daimler Trucks, a renowned partner for this project.”

Results of the first fleet test in Portugal: Canter E-Cell cuts operating costs by up to 64 percent

In the course of an initial fleet test in Portugal, the Canter E-Cell has already proven its merits in short-range delivery operations and urban transport. During the year-long test from June 2014 to June 2015, eight vehicles were in service with customers in Lisbon. With ranges of over 100 kilometres, the vehicles exceeded the average daily distance covered by many trucks in light-duty short-radius distribution. On the basis of the prevailing costs of diesel and electricity during the test period in Portugal, operating costs were lowered by up to 64 percent in comparison to a conventional diesel truck.

Canter E-Cell developed at the hybrid centre of excellence in Kawasaki

Fuso is pushing ahead with the further development of this drive technology while the current customer trials are still in progress. Fuso’s engineers are already working on the next generation of the Canter E-Cell – with the firm goal of making it even more suitable for everyday use and more economical.

At the centre of excellence for hybrid vehicles in Kawasaki, Japan, Daimler Trucks possesses more than 40 years of experience in the development of alternative drive systems. The engineers at the “Global Hybrid Center” were also responsible for developing the battery-electric, local emission-free Canter E-Cell, in close cooperation with the colleagues at the Tramagal plant. The electrically powered light-duty truck was premiered at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in 2010. The current test fleet was manufactured on a prototype production line at the Fuso plant in Tramagal, Portugal.

Fuso leads the field in partially electric light-duty trucks with the Canter Eco Hybrid

Fuso is the leading manufacturer of partially electric light-duty trucks. Some 3500 Fuso Canter Eco Hybrids are in service with customers around the world. The handling strategy for the Canter Eco Hybrid is based on the vehicle starting up and moving off in quiet, electric mode. Then, at a speed of around 10 km/h, the diesel engine cuts in. Below this speed, it also runs at idle to supply power to the ancillary assemblies.

Another strength of the Canter Eco Hybrid is its load capacity. The additional weight resulting from the hybrid drive amounts to only around 150 kilograms. This means a load capacity of up to 4.8 tonnes for the 7.5-tonne model as a chassis with cab.

Daimler Trucks Asia’s headquarters and the largest plant are located in Kawasaki, near Tokyo.

The second plant, at which trucks of the BharatBenz and Fuso brands are produced, is in Chennai, India. Some 170,000 trucks and buses of the Fuso and BharatBenz brands are produced annually in Kawasaki and Chennai for the Japanese and Indian market as well as for the export. They are sold in more than 150 countries. As such, Daimler Trucks Asia accounts for over 30 percent of Daimler’s global truck sales. Fuso is the Daimler Group’s best-selling truck brand.