Mitsubishi Fuso is going electric

Mitsubishi Fuso is going electric

After a year of in-use testing demonstrated a 64% savings in operating costs compared to an equivalent diesel-powered vehicle in the same service, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America Inc. (MFTA) will debut two prototypes of its Fuso E-cell all-electric truck at The Work Truck Show 2016. One of the prototypes will be available for test drives as part of The Work Truck Show Ride-and-Drive.

The testing of the new battery-powered Fuso Canter FE-Series medium-duty cabover, according to MFTA, was conducted by its parent company, Daimler Trucks Asia/Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. In a field trial as part of the truck’s ongoing development, fleet customers in Portugal, where the vehicles are manufactured, operated eight prototypes in routine service while Mitsubishi Fuso engineers monitored the vehicles’ performance and use profiles.

An analysis of the data, according to the manufacturer, revealed that the Canter E-cell work trucks required less fuel compared to an equivalent Canter’s average diesel fuel consumption. Actual savings, the company noted, would depend on the cost of diesel fuel and electricity, but based on diesel fuel pricing and electricity costs in Portugal over the test period the E-cell trucks produced a savings of 64%.

Additionally, the OEM pointed out that the eight E-cell test vehicles produced zero CO­­2 tailpipe emissions. A 37% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to diesel-powered trucks was realized, the company added, after accounting for emissions generated by the power plants creating the electricity needed to recharge the truck’s batteries.

The company also reported on customer evaluations of the E-cell trucks’ practicality, suitability for specific operating requirements and ease of use. All results have been quite positive, MFTA said, with customers reporting that when used as intended the trucks performed well. Applications included various flatbed, stake and dry van bodies used in express package delivery and freight forwarding in urban environments, municipal refuse and public works service, and forestry service equipment and debris hauling. Additional testing and customer evaluations are currently being planned.

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In other news, MFTA announced the creation of its new, comprehensive FusoFirst product support program for owners and operators of its medium-duty trucks. The program encompasses 24/7 Roadside Assistance, a dedicated website and mobile app, operator training, availability to nationwide FUSO Service and Parts Dealerships and training of dealership technicians. The Roadside Assistance program provides towing, tire service, jump-starting, lockout service and fuel/DEF fluid replenishment free of charge within the U.S. and Canada for any FUSO Canter FE or FG Series work truck during its three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty period.

The FusoFirst program features a troubleshooting web app drivers can access on smartphones or tablets that includes a dealer locator, a link to the Roadside Assistance number, a vehicle support wizard that will walk the driver step by step through a number of symptom-specific troubleshooting scenarios, as well as driver assistance videos and downloadable vehicle technical information.

MFTA is set to be one of the manufacturers planning to introduce new trucks, powertrains, technology and equipment at The Work Truck Show 2016. To date, more than 60 companies have announced plans to showcase their latest innovations at the event, including Cummins, Mack Trucks, International Truck, Kenworth Truck Co., Ford Commercial Vehicles and Ram Commercial, among others. For more information on the Work Truck Show, visit their website.

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