Sustainable “Made in Europe”: Daimler Truck subsidiary FUSO celebrates start of production of the next generation eCanter

Ceremonial production start of the Next Generation FUSO eCanter at the Mitsubishi Fuso Truck Europe ("MFTE") plant in Tramagal, Portugal

More powerful, more efficient, longer range – plus a wide variety of applications and CO2-neutral in driving operation: This is the essence of the Next Generation eCanter from FUSO. Following its European premiere at the IAA Transportation in Hanover in September 2022, Daimler Truck subsidiary FUSO is celebrating the start of production of the all-electric light truck in Europe. The event at the Mitsubishi FUSO Europe (“MFTE”) production plant in Tramagal, Portugal, brought together company representatives and guests of politics and business to celebrate the first Next Generation eCanter from European production running off the assembly line.

For Karl Deppen, CEO Daimler Truck Asia, the start of production of the FUSO eCanter marks a milestone: “We at Daimler Truck are fully committed to the Paris Climate Agreement and making sustainable transport a success, which is why we aim to offer only CO2-neutral vehicles in our core global markets by 2039. An important part of that is supporting our customers’ transition to eMobility with the easy, efficient and electric eCanter starting production here in Tramagal. With this, we are taking an important step closer to CO2-neutral transportation.”

At the event, Karl Deppen and Arne Barden, CEO MFTE, proudly announced another impressive milestone for the Tramagal plant with the 250,000 FUSO Canter produced on site. Arne Barden: “The MFTE team is proud to build the iconic FUSO Canter here at Tramagal meanwhile in its fifth generation! Thank you to the highly dedicated team who managed the ramp-up of the Next Generation eCanter with flying colors!” The MFTE plant in Tramagal produces the FUSO Canter since 1980.

In the run-up to the event, media representatives had the opportunity to experience the new vehicles at first hand during a factory tour and an exclusive driving event on the Autódromo do Estoril and the surrounding public roads, to experience the performance of the Next Generation eCanter for themselves. During the driving event, experts from FUSO Europe provided detailed insights into the application versatility of the new vehicle and informed about customized e-mobility solutions.

The Next Generation eCanter: Pioneer on the way to sustainable transport

Since the launch of the eCanter in 2017, FUSO, the Japanese subsidiary of Daimler Truck, has been considered a pioneer and frontrunner in electric trucks and has been working consistently to implement sustainable transport solutions. There are now over 550 FUSO eCanter in customer operation in Europe, Japan and the United States, as well as in Australia and New Zealand. The total distance covered by the global eCanter fleet in all-electric and thus locally emission-free mode is now around eight million kilometers – equivalent to about 200 circumnavigations of the globe. The Next Generation eCanter is now taking this success story to a new level.

Production of the all-electric light truck already started in the first quarter at the sister plant in Kawasaki, Japan. Kawasaki delivers the FUSO Next Generation eCanter in Japan as well as in all other non-European markets worldwide. In Europe, sales of the FUSO Next Generation eCanter will initially start in 17 markets (France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Slovakia, Greece and Poland).

More variants for greater flexibility

In order to meet customer requirements even better, FUSO has made several adjustments to the Next Generation eCanter. While the previous electric truck was exclusively available as a 7.49-tonner with a wheelbase of 3,400 millimeters, customers now have the choice of six wheelbases between 2,500 and 4,750 millimeters and a permissible gross vehicle weight of 4.25 to 8.55 tons. The load capacity of the chassis is up to 5 tons. The Next Generation eCanter is powered either by a 110 kW (variants with a gross vehicle weight of 4.25 and 6 tons) or 129 kW (variants with a gross vehicle weight of 7.49 and 8.55 tons) electric motor with an optimized driveline and 430 Nm of torque; the maximum speed is 89 km/h (electronically limited).

Depending on the wheelbase, three different battery packs are available: S, M and L. The batteries use lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cell technology. These are characterized above all by a long service life and more usable energy. The battery pack in the S variant has a nominal capacity of 41 kWh and enables a range of up to 70 kilometers. In the M variant, the nominal capacity is 83 kWh and the range is up to 140 kilometers. The L variant, as the most powerful package, offers a nominal capacity of 124 kWh and a range of up to 200 kilometers. This is far more than the distance usually covered per day in light distribution traffic. Recuperation can increase the range even further, which at the same time minimizes charging breaks. By comparison: Until now the eCanter has only had a battery option with a nominal capacity of 81kWh and a range of up to 100 kilometers.

As far as battery charging is concerned, the Next Generation eCanter is compatible with all main voltages in the major markets. The charging unit supports charging with both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). The Combined Charging System CCS is the charging standard, and charging is possible at up to 104 kW. DC fast charging from 20 to 80 percent of capacity is possible in approximately 24 (S), 26 (M) and 39 minutes (L), depending on the battery pack; AC charging (11 and 22 kW) takes between around four and six hours, depending on the battery pack.

MFTE plant Tramagal: A Pioneer in sustainability

As part of its overall ecological strategy, the MFTE plant in Tramagal has already successfully reduced its CO2 emissions on a step-by-step basis over the past few years, and by the end of 2022, balance sheet CO2-neutrality in production has been implemented. In order to reach this milestone, MFTE has among others continuously expanded the use of renewable energy sources and completed the conversion to green power sources.1,200 solar panels on the hall roofs produce up to 350 megawatts of electricity per year. Future targets are to produce up to 600 megawatts of electricity. In addition to expanding photovoltaic systems, the plant is also testing technologies for the local production of green hydrogen.

Reducing water consumption is another measure in the field of sustainability the site is focusing on: Its own new water treatment plant already treats over 60 percent of process water and returns it to the production cycle. At the same time, an optimized rainwater collection system is in the works for more sustainable irrigation of the green areas. Mitsubishi FUSO Europe employs around 500 people in Tramagal. The company is the largest employer in the region. From Portugal, the vehicles go to 32 European countries as well as Morocco. Mitsubishi FUSO Truck Europe is a major exporter and Portugal’s third-largest vehicle manufacturer.

“Made in Europe” for the FUSO Next Generation eCanter does not only refer to the vehicle assembly in Tramagal: more than 50 percent of the electric truck’s components come from over 90 different European suppliers. In line with the production of the all-electric FUSO eCanter, MFTE has also been successively converting its entire internal logistics and warehouse fleet to locally emission-free, electric vehicles since last year.

SOURCE: Daimler Truck

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