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Battery trucks for urban distribution

This week the world’s first all-electric 7.5 tonne truck, the FUSO eCanter, will receive its UK launch, in London

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This zero-emission vehicle is aimed at urban distribution, so businesses can operate sustainably and efficiently while assisting London and other major cities with their air quality goals.

The FUSO eCanter is the third generation of all-electric light truck from Daimler, and it was launched at the 2016 IAA Commercial Vehicles Show and sales to selected customers in Europe, the USA and Japan began in 2017.

The range of the eCanter is 100 kms (62 miles) with a 70 kWh battery (five 14 kWh units), but there will be option to order versions with 3-6 modules, varying the (water-cooled) battery pack size from 42 to 84 kWh.

For the powertrain, Fuso utilizes a 185 kW/380 Nm permanent synchronous electric motor coupled to a single-speed transmission propelling rear axle.

Charging comes up in about seven hours via normal AC charging, or up to 80% in 1 hour DC fast charging. In the future, Daimler intends to increase charging power to 170 kW DC, and thus be able to replenish energy in half the time.

The FUSO eCanter light truck
The FUSO eCanter light truck

In Germany, Rhenus Logistics has taken three FUSO eCanter trucks into it operations from the beginning of this year. The vehicles, each expected to cover around 50,000 kms/year, will be tested for a period of two years and are expected to enable Rhenus to save up to 137 tonnes of direct CO2 emissions throughout that period.

Nicolas Rottmann, managing director of Rhenus Home Delivery, commented: “We were the first German company to test a hybrid truck from the MercedesBenz innovation fleet in 2011 and, since then, we’ve introduced more eco-friendly measures within our business unit. We’ve initiated paperless deliveries, for example, erected solar panels and installed energy-saving LED lamps at our warehouses.

“We’re now continuing our sustainable corporate philosophy with the fully electric FUSO eCanter vehicles. Using them in the Berlin urban area makes sense, as the journeys between our central warehouse in Hoppegarten and our end customers in the city centre are short.”

The other three businesses known to have received the all-electric trucks in Europe are DHL, DB Schenker and Dachser.

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