E-Fuso concept heralds a new breed of electric trucks

By Motoring Staff Time of article published Oct 26, 2017

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Tokyo, Japan – With this battery-powered heavy hauler concept, revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show, Mitsubishi Fuso has become the first truckmaker to launch a brand specifically for electric trucks and buses.

And the E-Fuso Vision One is just the beginning; Fuso boss Marc Llistosella said in his presentation that the company would electrify its complete range of trucks and buses, in upcoming years. Eventually, he said, every vehicle in the Fuso range would available with an alternative electric powertrain.

The Vision One has a gross vehicle weight of about 23 tons, and carries a payload of about 11 tons - only two tons less than its diesel-driven equivalent. There’s space between the chassis rails for batteries of up to 350kWh, giving it a range with full load of as much as 350 kilometres.

While that’s not enough for long-haul transport, it’s more than viable for heavy-duty deliveries in and around urban areas, where there is growing pressure  to curtail the usage of combustion-engined vehicles - especially diesels; Llistosella sees the possibility of introducing a production version of the Vision One within four years in mature markets such as Japan or Europe - especially with access to parent company Daimler’s know-how in the fields of battery and charging technology.

E-Fuso Vision One joins 7.5 ton eCanter, already with customers in the United States and Japan. Picture: Daimler Trucks

And this is not just pie in the sky.

In September Mitsubishi Fuso launched its first series-production electric truck, the 7.5 ton eCanter with a range of up to 100km, in New York. The first batches have been handed over to customers in Japan such as convenience-store giant 7-Eleven and Yamato, Japan’s largest delivery-logistics provider, as well as UPS in the United States, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and The New York Botanical Garden.

The batteries for the eCanter are provided by Daimler subsidiary Deutsche Accumotive, while Mercedes-Benz Energy gives used batteries a second lifecycle in stationary energy storage systems.

Daimler is also part-owner of Chargepoint, the world’s largest provider of charging stations, as well as Israeli start-up StoreDot, which is developing new fast-charging battery technology - which is important for E-Fuso, given how much power it takes to recharge a 300kWh battery pack!

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