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Daimler starts production of FUSO eCanter in Europe; first series all-electric light-duty truck

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) has started production of the all‑electric light-duty truck Fuso eCanter in Tramagal, Portugal. (Earlier post.) Fuso is a brand of Daimler Trucks Asia. 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. In May, MFTBC already 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. Production of the eCanter in Japan started on 7 July.

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Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of the Portuguese Republic and Marc Llistosella, President & CEO Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation at one of the boxes along the production line of the Fuso eCanter at the Tramagal plant. Click to enlarge.

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 an event marking the beginning of production.

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 one of the most iconic Mega-Cities, in New York, this September. Our Portuguese plant does not only produce the trucks for Europe and the US, we also benefit from a close cooperation with the authorities in Portugal and Lisbon testing the trucks there since 2014.

—Marc Llistosella, President and CEO of MFTBC and Head of Daimler Trucks Asia

The eCanter has a range of 100 kilometers (62 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 with 420 V and 13.8 kWh each.

The battery packs are being delivered from the 100% 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 and 2017. In comparison with a conventional diesel truck, it offers savings up to €1,000 per 10,000 kilometers on operating costs.

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 already 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.

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