Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), cooperating with Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), under the umbrella of Daimler Trucks Asia, announced that the trials for the battery-powered, electric, “Zero Emission” vehicles were officially completed in Portugal, one year after the hand-over of Fuso Canter E-CELL trucks to selected customers.
At an event held in Lisbon, the Deputy Prime Minister of Portugal, Paulo Portas, representatives of government authorities, customers, and the management of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck Europe and Daimler Trucks, all responded positively to the real-life performance of the trucks.
The Portuguese government co-funded the research project through IAPMEI, the Public Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation. The Fuso Canter E-Cell vehicles were produced at the Tramagal plant, located about 150 kilometers northeast of Lisbon, where also MFTBC produces the Canter Eco Hybrid since 2012.
The first findings from trials with eight vehicles, indicate the trucks proved adequate for everyday use in short range delivery and inner city transportation. The trucks achieved a range of more than 100 kilometers, thus exceeding the average distance many short-radius distribution trucks usually travel in a day. The Fuso Canter E-CELL reached a payload of two tonnes, an amount necessary for customers to operate their fleet efficiently. At the same time, preliminary analysis also pointed to cost savings compared to conventional diesel trucks.
The capabilities of these electrically-powered light-duty trucks were put to the test under a wide range of conditions. The city of Lisbon used the Canter E-CELL for horticultural and waste disposal purposes, the city of Porto as a means of collecting recyclable waste, the city of Sintra for forest maintenance, and the cities of Abrantes and Cascais, also, in the field of horticulture. The company Transporta used the vehicle for house-to-house deliveries as part of its short-radius distribution service, and the energy supplier REN used it for transport purposes within industrial gas storage facilities located in the cities of Sines and Pombal. Lastly, the Canter E-CELL helped the Portuguese national postal service, CTT, with transport runs between its distribution centers in the cities of Lisbon and Coimbra.