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Mitsubishi Fuso Shows Medium-Duty Hybrid Cabover Work Truck in US

Canter Eco Hybrid

Mitsubishi Fuso is showing to US buyers a parallel-hybrid diesel-electric commercial truck that delivers up to 30% better fuel economy in urban delivery applications (up to 10% on-highway) and up to 60% less emissions than the standard diesel-only model.

Mitsubishi Fuso will introduce the Canter Eco Hybrid—shown as a prototype at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2002—to the Japanese commercial truck market later this year, and is showing the prototype in the US to gauge interest. Mitsubishi-Fuso, owned 85% by DaimlerChrysler, last month announced a cooperative project with fellow DaimlerChrysler truck brand Sterling Trucks for Sterling to market a version of the conventional Canter in the US: the Sterling 360.

The Canter Eco Hybrid system combines a 3.0-liter, four-cylinder inline diesel engine; an ultra-slim electric motor/generator installed between an automatic clutch (for disengaging the engine from the driveline) a high-efficiency automated mechanical transmission; and a 1.9kWh Li-ion battery pack consisting of 96 cells connected in series.

Cutaway view of engine, motor and transmission.

The 92 kW (123 hp) 4M42T turbocharged diesel engine is the same one utilized in conventional medium-duty truck service in Japan for several years. The ultra-slim 35kW (47 hp) brushless permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor/generator has been field-proven in a number of applications. And the Mitsubishi Fuso Inomat II automated mechanical transmission is similar to the ones that have been used in Fuso Class 8 trucks for a decade.

The hybrid system switches its operational mode according to the driving situation. The electric motor is used to drive the vehicle when starting off. During hard acceleration, both the diesel engine and electric motor/generator power the vehicle. When cruising, the vehicle is driven by the diesel engine only, like a conventional vehicle.

When slowing down or braking, the electric motor/generator functions as a generator to brake the vehicle and use regenerative braking to recharge the Li-ion battery pack.

Operating modes. Click to enlarge.



Adrian Akau

I think that this truck has excellent characteristics. It is using manganese based lithium ion batteries in place of a cobalt based lithium ion batteries. Costs should come down as manganes is much less expensive than cobalt. The manganese lithium ion battery should also prove safer to use since cobalt based batteries usually heat up dangerously high during heavy or rapid charges and discharges. Up to now, the use of cobalt lithium ion batteries have been limited to computers because they needed to be kept small in order for heat to be readily dissipated. It was a matter of the ratio between the volume of the chemicals in the battery and the surface area of the battery. The heat problem should be solved by using manganese lithium ion batteries.

Manganese lithium ion batteries maintain very effective efficiencies with repeated charge and discharge cycles and have been tested for 300,000 Km. driving.

A specially designed electronic controller prevents both overcharging and charge depletion of the batteries which serves to maintain internal battery integrity.

I do not know the cost of the Canter Eco Hybrid but I do believe that as the fuel prices continue to rise, I would recommend companies to consider this vehicle for commercial use since long term fuel costs will become the dominant overall consideration in purchasing commercial vehicles of this type.


I like this drivetrain layout. It is simular to Honda's IMA but with the electric motor on the transmission side of the clutch instead of integrated wit the flywheel so it can work independatly from the ICE.


Seems to be some good competition for Hino's diesel-hybrids.


I suspect then there is important point missed in driveline description. Most probably, there is another clutch on the transmission side of the drivetrain to facilitate gear changes. This classic two-clutch hybrid combination is the most flrxible parallel hybrid layout.

tom deplume

During gear change the motor could have its current cut off as the clutch is released. This would have the same effect as a second clutch.

Rafael Seidl

Andrey -

I don't believe a second clutch is required. During gear shifts, a sufficiently sophisticated control system for the electric motor can assist in the synchronization effort.

As will all AMTs, driver comfort is rather limited. For passenger cars, a more elegant solution is a twin dry or wet clutch transmission with an electric assist motor attached to the even gears:;site=a4e/lng=en/do=show/alloc=3/id=2731

harsh singh

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Why not shove that drive train into old Crown Vic taxis. It would be indestructable.

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