Daimler Kicks Electric Commercial Truck Plan Into High Gear In U.S.

4 weeks ago by Mark Kane 15

Daimler has announced the launch of its FUSO eCanter electric truck in the U.S., with UPS and four other prominent NGO (not-for-profit) fleets in New York City (Wildlife Conservation Society, New York Botanical Garden, Habitat for Humanity New York City, and Big Reuse Brooklyn). UPS gets things started with the first three units.

FUSO eCanter

The first electric truck from FUSO entered production in Portugal and Japan earlier this year, however the market introduction will measured, as only ~500 units are likely to be delivered over the first two years.

For now, the FUSO eCanter is only offered under a two-year/lease-only deal, as Daimler expects to introduce a new version with better batteries relatively soon.

In Japan, mega-convenience retailer Seven-Eleven will be operating 25 units.

After the initial two-year start-up period, it’s expected that large scale production will begin in 2019.

The FUSO eCanter is equipped with six 13.8 kWh modules for total of 82.8 kWh. Daimler believes that such a battery is good for up to 100 km (62 miles) during a heavy work rotation – with two to three and a half tons of cargo.

“Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), part of Daimler Trucks – the global market leader with truck brands like Freightliner, Mercedes-Benz and FUSO – today celebrated the global launch of the FUSO eCanter in New York City. The FUSO eCanter is the world’s first series-produced all-electric light-duty truck and will be delivered to customers starting this year in the US, Europe and Japan. MFTBC is planning to deliver 500 units of this generation to customers within the next two years. Larger scale production is intended to start in 2019.”

“The all-electric light-duty truck is MFTBC’s answer to the public’s need for a zero-emission, zero-noise truck for continuously increasing inner-city distribution. In addition to being an eco-friendly vehicle, it is cost-efficient and economical for users, as already proved within customer tests in Europe. The FUSO eCanter has a range of 100 kilometers and a load capacity up to three and a half tons – depending on body and usage. The vehicle´s electric powertrain contains six high voltage lithium ion battery packs with 420 V and 13.8 kWh each. In comparison with a conventional diesel truck, it offers savings up to 1,000 Euro per 10,000 kilometers on operating costs.”

FUSO eCanter

Marc Llistosella, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation and Head of Daimler Trucks Asia:

“In times, when everybody is talking about electric trucks, we are the first to actually commercialize a series produced all-electric truck. Having a long history in alternative drivetrains, we are proud to step into this new era. Our FUSO eCanter comes with years of customer testing, and the assurance of parts, services, and warranty through our global FUSO dealership network.”

“Our new FUSO eCanter now addresses the increasing global demand for products to meet and exceed high CO2 emission standards. It offers an attractive and cost-effective alternative to combustion engines and makes electric trucks key to the future of inner city distribution”,

Carlton Rose, President, Global Fleet Maintenance & Engineering, UPS:

“At UPS, we constantly evaluate and deploy advanced technologies that enable sustainable, innovative solutions for our fleet. Electric trucks make our fleet both cleaner and quieter, adding to our already more than 8,500 alternative drivetrain vehicles in service today. We have a long-standing global relationship with Daimler, and we welcome the opportunity to trial the Fuso eCanter as UPS continues to realize the benefits of electric trucks.”

 

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15 responses to "Daimler Kicks Electric Commercial Truck Plan Into High Gear In U.S."

  1. TM says:

    Very awesome! I can’t wait until these things dominate transportation, esp in cities. The noise level will decrease a lot when there are no ICE trucks hauling stuff around.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      I wonder how they compare to the Workhorse solution? UPS has purchased (and already received) hundreds of those, after evaluating a much lower quantity.

      Either way, more electric trucks is a good thing.

    2. Dav8or says:

      Someday yes, it’ll be great. However the trucking industry is like everyone else. Waiting for better batteries. 62 miles of range is not practical for any commercial enterprise and Daimler knows this. That’s why only 500 units and a two year lease. It’s a PR stunt and technology demonstrator, not a revolution.

  2. SCOTT says:

    Ban ICE!

    1. Dav8or says:

      Ban people that want to ban things!

  3. unlucky says:

    This is great. We have a smattering of electric delivery vans (mostly Frito-Lay) around here. I’d like to see a lot more.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Where are you located? I believe those trucks are made by Workhorse Group, and combine with BMW i3’s Range Extender to extend range in a pinch.

      It sounds too small, but I guess it depends on how much range extending you need and where you configure the set point for them to turn on.

      1. unlucky says:

        The Frito ones are 100% electric. They say so.

        They’re made by Smith.

        https://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/frito-lay-adds-electric-trucks-to-its-fleet/

        Although they don’t look like the one in the picture, they are a little bigger and have no rear side door.

        They look like the ones in this:

        I don’t know any details on the UPS ones. They are rare anyway. In my area which is the San Francisco Bay Area, California.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          Thanks for the reference. Workhorse lists Frito Lay as a partner, so I just assumed it was their solution in Frito Lay’s fleet. I guess it’s not a surprise that Frito Lay has more than one alternative energy vehicle provider.

  4. Don Zenga says:

    Note this point
    “~500 units are likely to be delivered over the first two years.”
    So this will be a compliance truck. And why do they claim that they are the first.

    If we have a competition on who will sell the first 5,000 units, then Tesla may beat the Benz.

    1. GSP says:

      “The FUSO eCanter is the world’s first series-produced all-electric light-duty truck”

      Tesla’s truck will not be “light duty,” nor available before the e-Canter.

      However this is hardly the first series produced all electric light duty truck. Smith electric Vehicles’ Newton, Ford-Azure Dynamics’ Transit Connect, Boulder EV, Workhorse, Deuche Post’s StreetScotter, and others have preceded Fuso’s offering. I find their claim to be first laughable.

      GSP

  5. Some Guy says:

    “500 units with two to three and a half tons of cargo until end of 2019.” That means a total hauling capacity of 1000-1750 tons.

    Meanwhile, Deutsche Post, leading parcel delivery service company in Germany is building a bit smaller Streetsccoter light trucks like crazy.

    September 2017 alone saw 827 registrations in Germany, which is funny, considering that just 3 years ago Daimler did not want their business when the Post CEO told Daimler that his company is in the market for ~36000 light truck BEVs…

    Market share of BEV trucks in Germany is at 1.1% for the running year and rising (statistics counts everything from light truck to semi-truck as “truck”), and among those BEV trucks, around 98-99% were built by Deutsche Post. I expect the BEV market share to rise, and the Post marketshare among BEV to remain steady until Tesla enters with the Semi (which I expect not to be a competitor to the Streetsccoter, as it is way bigger, so it will go only against Daimler and VW (MAN/ Scania) trucks)

  6. Djoni says:

    It make so much sense to electrify these type of vehicle, more than car I’ll say, because they burn way more hydrocarbon than personal transportation.
    Steady route and load with lot of saving to gain with plenty of space or payload to implement electrification.

    I hope they will replace stinky, noisy and suffocating diesel ASAP.

  7. Bill Howland says:

    Yeah every one of these companies lie – but no offense – German ones (Diamler and VW group, – and supplier Robert Bosch) seem to do most of the lying.

    A friend picked up an ALL ELECTRIC FORD transit connect ev for a song, since at the end they couldn’t give them away.

    But it definitely was a truck, and it definitely was before Diamler, or VW or Bosch.

  8. FL says:

    Just to shed some light on the facts behind the “first series produced electric truck”
    1. Definition of truck: Pickup trucks and Vans are not counted as trucks outside the US, but as light commercial vehicles. The eCanter is a 7,5 ton can over engine truck. Therefore the “Deutsche Post Street Scooter doesn’t compare, it’s a Passcar sized van.
    2. definition of series produced. This means that a vehicle is produced on a production line with serial parts that are provided longterm by a supplier (thee is a commitment of parts availability also after the lifecycle. Smith produced a lot, but only with prototype parts. Parts availability and service reach were very bad which is why customers complained a lot. Meanwhile Smith has gone bankrupt and out of market. Former customers sit on their trucks without parts or any chance to use them any more. That doesn’t happen with a global OEM like Daimler.
    And last: the small series is chosen because there will be substantial technology change after 2 years and Fuso will be exchanging the 2017 eCanters against the next model to not punish first mover customers with outdated technology. This is a costly move that cannot be ensured for unlimited numbers. Therefore the limited amount.

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