Electric Trucks

64 per cent savings in operating costs are being claimed as results for an electric truck trial are being published. Customer field trials with eight Fuso Canter E-Cell trucks in Portugal began in mid-2014. The Canters were permanently monitored and analysed during the one-year field trial.

The trucks travelled 51,500 km without a problem, demonstrating operating ranges of up to 109 km. The most used Canter E-Cell was in service with the Transporta parcel service company and completed a distance of over 14,000 km during the one-year trial.

Charging the batteries on a 240 volt outlet takes about seven hours, a time which is cut to just one hour on a quick charging system. According to Fuso the trial resulted in savings in operating costs of up to 64 per cent.

The City of Lisbon used the Canter E-Cell for the disposal of vegetation and waste, the City of Porto used it as a collection vehicle for recyclables, the City of Sintra for forest management and the cities of Abrantes and Cascais likewise for landscape maintenance.

The Transporta parcel service used the vehicle for door-to-door deliveries to households, energy supplier REN for transport purposes within the industrial gas depots in the cities of Sines and Pombal. Finally, the Canter E-Cell also assisted the Portuguese postal service CTT with transport operations between the distribution centres of Lisbon and Coimbras.

From the outside, the FUSO Canter E-Cell is only distinguished from its diesel-powered or diesel-electric powered brethren by the battery packs mounted to the two sides of the frame. An electric drivetrain takes the place of the three litre diesel engine behind the unchanged Canter cab. The electric motor sends 110 kW (150 hp) of power to the rear axle via a one-speed transmission.

According to Fuso, the peak torque of 650 Nm accelerates the truck almost like a passenger car. As soon as the driver releases the accelerator pedal, the electronics switch to energy recovery mode, the electric motor turns into a generator and feeds the exhaust brake energy generated during the rolling phase back to the lithium-ion batteries mounted to the frame. The top speed of the Canter E-Cell is limited to 90 km/h.

To prevent the Canter E-Cell’s silent running from creating hazards, the trucks are fitted with the acoustic VSP warning system (vehicle sound for pedestrians), which can be activated at the push of a button.