Daimler truck subsidiary Fuso is unveiling the next generation of the all-electric eCanter light truck. The new vehicle will be offered in weight classes from 4.25 to 8.55 tons, in addition to the currently available 7.5-tonne truck. The Next Generation eCanter will celebrate its world premiere in Japan.
The European premiere of the eCanter successor will follow soon: the presentation will take place at the IAA Transportation show at the end of September. Then there will also be country-specific details on the new eCanter.
However, the following applies to all models – whether in Japan or overseas: unlike its predecessor, the Next Generation eCanter will be equipped with an electric axle drive that integrates the engine into the rear axle, thus enabling a more compact drive structure. According to Fuso, this results in a significant expansion of the product range: “The new eCanter will comprise more than 100 variants worldwide, including 28 for the Japanese domestic market.”
As for the vehicle’s structure, in addition to the 7.5-tonne truck we are familiar with, the successor model will advance in weight classes ranging from 4.25 to 8.55 tonnes. Along with that, the choice of wheelbases and battery options grows. Specifically, the wheelbase varies by more than two meters: The minimum size is 2.5 metres, and the maximum stands at 4.75 metres. Depending on the space available, three battery options are available: Orders can be placed for vehicles with a small wheelbase with a single battery module of 41.3 kWh and a corresponding range of up to 80 km. Medium-sized variants can accommodate two battery modules, and the large variants even have three battery modules. The analogue ranges are 140 and 200 km, respectively. The Japanese company does not yet provide any information on the performance of the axle drive or the charging capacity. Fuso writes that “normal” and “fast” charging is possible.
It is clear that there are further individualization options for the cabs: In addition to the standard cab width (1,695 mm), a wider cab (1,995 mm) will also be available in the future. Fuso states that the vehicle range, specifications and equipment features vary from market to market and that details on overseas models will only be announced at the time of their respective market launches.
Roughly speaking, the eCanter successor there will have a V2X function for feeding external power devices and, optionally, a power take-off unit (“ePTO”) for connecting to van bodies such as climate boxes, dump trucks or cranes. Recuperation is to be controlled in four stages in the future. In addition, Fuso also announced the possibility of preheating the battery before charging and regulating the heating with pinpoint accuracy (switch-off function or energy-saving heating function for seats and steering wheel only). Fuso is also improving safety – for example, with a turn-off assistant, emergency braking system, intelligent headlight control and traffic sign recognition. An electric parking brake and a rear-view camera system with collision warning is also available.
The visual updates include the black crossbar (“FUSO Black Belt”) at the front of the vehicle, as well as LED headlights, daytime running lights and taillights. Inside, the new eCanter boasts a slightly lower dashboard, more vertical space in the cabin and a 10-inch LCD display linked to the steering wheel switches. An “eRange” function was also added that displays the remaining mileage and battery capacity, as well as a charge manager that uses a timer to start charging when electricity costs are lowest.
Japanese parent company Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) also offers buyers eMobility start-up assistance with the new eCanter. The vehicle ecosystem offers include charger and installation services, eConsulting services on route planning, charging environment, and power procurement, a battery lifecycle management service, financial services, and digital services (telematics, fleet management, real-time monitoring, etc.) and customer services (warranty and other maintenance services).
The current eCanter was launched in 2017 as a low-volume model. Since its market launch, about 450 vehicles have been sold, according to Fuso. According to the company, these add up to a total mileage of more than 6 million kilometres worldwide. According to earlier statements, this generation is intended to go into series production “in large numbers”.
To compare, the current eCanter is a 7.5-tonne truck and has a range of about 100 kilometres. Its electric powertrain is powered by six lithium-ion battery modules, each with 13.8 kWh (total: 82.8 kWh). The payload is up to 4.5 tonnes, powered by a 129 kW electric motor. As with all vehicles in this weight class, the top speed is limited to 80 km/h.
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation, headquartered in Kawasaki, is one of Asia’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers. 89.29% of the shares are held by Daimler Truck AG, 10.71% by various Mitsubishi Group companies.
With reporting by Cora Werwitzke, France.
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