Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation has sold more than 500 units of the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid truck model in Japan to date. Some 250 of the trucks were sold in 2008 alone, a 64% increase from the figure recorded for the prior year. This dynamic development is being fueled in particular by growing demand for environmentally friendly, fuel-efficient commercial vehicles.
The trucks have been used mostly in urban settings since their market launch in 2006. This is because the hybrid truck’s fuel efficiency benefits really take effect in stop-and-go traffic and delivery operations for parcel services and wholesalers, for example. With the Canter Eco Hybrid’s diesel-electric system, driving is both environmentally friendly and economical.
Hybrid vehicle fleet test in Europe
The Canter Eco Hybrid has been participating in Europe’s biggest fleet test for hybrid trucks since August 2008, when a total of ten hybrid models were handed over to eight customers in London for use in normal business operations. The three-year test is designed not only to provide new insights into the use of the 7.5-ton hybrid trucks by customers, but also to demonstrate the diesel-electric hybrid drive’s high level of efficiency.
The vehicles being used in the test series have been adapted to European requirements. Their hybrid drive systems consist of an electric motor and the powertrain from the 7.5-ton Fuso Canter series production truck, which meets the Euro 4 emission requirement. The trucks are also equipped with a new measuring system for collecting the necessary test data. All vehicle maintenance is handled by two specialized Mercedes-Benz service centers located in the London metropolitan area.
“Shaping Future Transportation”
Daimler’s extensive hybrid activities represent an important milestone of the Group’s “Shaping Future Transportation” initiative, which was launched in November 2007 with the aim of using clean, efficient drive systems and alternative fuels to make emission-free commercial vehicles a reality in the future.
Daimler is the global market leader for commercial vehicles with hybrid drives. More than 1,700 Orion hybrid buses have already been delivered to customers in the U.S. and Canada, and a further 1,100 are on order. In addition, more than 200 Freightliner hybrid trucks have gone into operation, and another 200 such models will be delivered to UPS beginning in 2009. Altogether, Freightliner will put more than 1,500 medium-duty hybrid trucks on the road over the next three years. Meanwhile, MFTBC also offers the Fuso Aero Star Eco Hybrid bus, and 25 of these vehicles are already being used by customers.
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), which is headquartered in Kawasaki, Japan, is one of the leading commercial vehicle manufacturers in Asia. The company sold a total of 197,700 vehicles in 2008, including light, medium-, and heavy-duty trucks and buses. Sales were 5 percent higher than in the prior year. Daimler AG owns 85 percent of MFTBC; the remaining 15 percent is held by various companies within the Mitsubishi Group. MFTBC is part of the Daimler Trucks division of Daimler AG.