Electric trucks are grabbing plenty of headlines and coverage in the road transport media in 2018, but at least one key industry insider is frustrated that more governments big and small aren’t yet getting on-board.
We sat down with Marc Llistosella, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus, to talk about electric trucks, in particular the Australia-bound Fuso e-Canter.
The light-duty electric truck is already at work in European and U.S. cities with operators including 7-11, UPS and DHL, and we can expect to see an updated version, with significantly longer range, on local roads in the next year or so.
Mr Llistosella, who will leave his post in March, telling us the truck is ideal for inner city deliveries and that means less emissions, less noise and lower operating costs.
“The electric truck revolution is coming, we have no doubts about that.”
But he said councils in inner-city areas need to get serious about cleaning up their act and it will be electric trucks that will make a significant difference.
“We are already seeing cities lead the argument for change around deliveries, emissions etc. and while we are pushing for this change we are also seeing the Mayors of many cities pushing us to deliver this alternative.”
The Fuso boss wants to see more cities, including Australian cities, follow the lead of Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens, and start placing access bans on diesel-powered trucks.
And it could be council fleets that are one of the primary targets of the e-Canter in Australia, while the Daimler boss did say the local Fuso team was already seeing interest in the electric truck from Australian businesses.
“There are a lot of companies in Australia that are environmentally aware and are interested in showing that they are doing the right thing.
“Just taking one diesel truck off the road would cut 16-tonnes of CO2 emissions, and that doesn’t include particulate and N2O emissions, so imagine the effect having even just 1000 electric trucks on the roads would make.”
The Fuso boss also had some interesting things to say about the host of new players coming into the truck market with electric offerings.
He said that while it was good to see others also looking to make change, he felt that without a track record in the industry, and without established after sales networks, that these ventures might struggle to convert existing truck operators.
The Fuso e-Canter that lands in Australia will be fully electric and while an official drive range for the new ‘series-two’ truck is yet to be confirmed, we believe it will be at least around 200 kilometres.
The current series truck boasts a four-tonne payload and a top speed of 80km/h.
While charging time is currently around 7 hours on AC, DC fast charging (for an 80% charge) is around 30-45 minutes.
Also look for the new version to come with a revised design that will see the batteries integrated into and under the chassis, rather than mounted to the outside of the chassis.
While Mr Llistosella also spoke of the medium-duty electric Fuso truck that is still in development, he said this truck will be available by 2020 and will be ideal for applications such as refuse collection, and as a bus platform.
“We are doing all this because we think it is the right thing to do.” Mr Llistosella said.
Related: Payload boost for Fuso tipper
We will keep you updated with further developments on the Fuso e-Canter as details come to hand and stay up to date direct in our Fuso News Archive.