The arrival of the eCanter, which produces zero local emissions and features class-leading safety, heralds a new age of electric mobility in Australian cities.
Available now, the eCanter is the first Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) all-electric truck available in Australia and will be supported by select Fuso eMobility dealers.
Developed with the global engineering might of Daimler, the eCanter became the world’s first small series electric production truck in 2017.
It has been the subject of a rigorous testing regime around the world, including a six-month Australian test running with a maximum load, while global customers have covered more than three million kilometres of real world driving.
Daimler Truck and Bus President and CEO, Daniel Whitehead, says the launch of the eCanter in Australia is a momentous occasion.
"Today, Fuso is launching a truck that emits zero local emissions and operates almost silently," Mr Whitehead says.
"This is a significant milestone for Australian transport and represents a big step towards carbon neutral transportation in this country, which benefits everyone."
Fuso Truck and Bus Australia Director, Alex Müller, is excited to be able to offer the eCanter to Australian customers.
"The eCanter is perfect for emission-sensitive areas in our big cities, where many pedestrians and residents stand to benefit, but it is not just a concept truck or environmental tribute," he says.
"It is a serious truck with a payload of more than four tonnes and it gets the job done day and night."
Mr Müller says the eCanter is proving that all-electric local transportation makes sense; not just for the community and for the environment, but also for business.
"We are excited to be pioneers in this field and to prove that electric trucks are practical in the correct application right now," he says.
"The eCanter is a vital proposition for any company that is serious about reducing emissions," Mr Müller adds.
The eCanter is equipped with active safety features such as the Advanced Emergency Braking System and the Lane Departure Warning System, which are increasingly important for leading companies and government bodies with a firm focus on health and safety.
Mr Müller says customers of the eCanter can rest assured the truck is fitted with advanced pedestrian-sensing camera emergency braking technology, just like the regular Canter 4x2 range.
"By their very nature, electric trucks operate in high-density urban areas, so active safety systems are more important than ever," he says.
"Our customers do not have to choose between safety and electric mobility, they can have both," Mr Müller adds.
The eCanter has a range of more than 100km when fully loaded, and can be recharged to 80 per cent capacity in an hour using a 50kW rapid charger or fully charged in 90 minutes. This makes it the perfect solution for set loops in big cities, where the truck’s zero local emissions and near-silent operation is most appreciated.
The eCanter is part of the Daimler Trucks’ commitment to help its customers reduce emissions in Australia with its Fuso, Freightliner and Mercedes-Benz brands.
Fuso currently features diesel engines that meet or undercut the stringent Euro 6 emissions standard in medium duty Fighter and heavy duty Shogun as well as the Rosa light bus.
Freightliner’s Cascadia was the first conventional truck in Australia with the US GHG 17 emission rating (exceeding Euro 6), while Mercedes-Benz led the way by introducing Euro 6 on every single Actros model in 2016.
Daimler Trucks leads aims to have all new vehicles in Europe, North America, and Japan "tank-to-wheel" CO2-neutral by 2039.
"Our leading customers in Australia want reduced emissions and advanced safety and Daimler Truck and Bus is committed to lead the market in delivering both," Mr Whitehead says.
Six liquid-cooled lithium ion batteries mounted in the eCanter frame store 82.8kW/h of electricity (with 66kW/h of usable power) and feed a permanent magnet synchronous motor. Power output is rated at 135kW and 390Nm of torque can be delivered the moment the accelerator pedal is pressed.
Fuso will consult with customers and advise them on the optimal charging infrastructure for their specific needs.
Given the global popularity of the eCanter, a limited number will be available for customers in Australia during the initial stages of the introduction but production availability is expected to increase in time.
While the regular Australian diesel Canters are produced in Fuso’s Kawasaki plant in Japan, Australian eCanters are made at the Tramagal factory in Portugal.
Like all 4x2 Canters the eCanter also features Electronic Stability Control, Hill Start, a reversing camera and driver and passenger airbags, in addition to Advanced Emergency Braking System and Lane Departure Warning System. Fuso includes these key safety features at no extra cost to customers.
The cabin is familiar to drivers of the regular Canter, but features a unique instrument cluster that shows the vehicle range and how much energy is being recouped through regenerative braking when the vehicle slows. It also features an ISRI suspension driver’s seat that is unique to eCanter.
The eCanter will feature on the Daimler stand at the Brisbane Truck Show to be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from May 13 to 16.