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Front of Mind When Considering Buying an Electric Truck

Front of Mind When Considering Buying an Electric Truck

One of those topics which will be front of mind when considering buying an electric truck like the Fuso eCanter will be the safety features of a new vehicle, and battery safety and their protection from impact and fire will be high on the agenda.

Around the batteries are mounted deceleration sensors, which will detect any side impact and immediately kill the high voltage system, reducing the risk of fire.

In terms of charging, Fuso covers all of the bases, it can use both AC charging, from a three phase socket and DC charging, which is much quicker, but requires the right electric infrastructure on site. This means that it can be used in a back-to-base scenario and charge up overnight on AC, which is generally available. However, when working in a more time pressured task it can use DC charging, which would enable a truck to work shifts, but comes with expensive infrastructure.

These new eCanter models have independent front suspension(IFS) on both narrow cab and wide cab, but not on the heavier 7.5 and 8.5 tonne GVM models. These revert to the typical Fuso beam front axle. Driving the eCanter on some the the wonderful(?) Melbourne roads sees the IFS smooth out the worst of the bumps and adds to the serenity in a cab, which is already eerily quiet.

“What this new design has given us the ability to do, is offer 14 variants of the eCanter, and a lot of it comes down to this modularity,” says Romesh.

“Going all the way from four and a half ton from a single battery. You can run a dual battery at 4.5 tonne, but payload starts to come down. This is obviously a challenging segment, for, these trucks in general, all the way up to eight tonne.

“With all of these you have the ePTO option, which can be either a pulley drive, which is not a super high torque output more for refrigeration compressors, and then you also have direct close coupled which obviously increases the capacity a lot.”

Image: Fuso

On the Road

PowerTorque took both of the models available for testing for a drive of around 50 plus km route in and around the city in Melbourne, on roads which will probably be the kind of workplace these trucks will be handling day-in day-out when they are in service.

Sat in the driver’s seat, the driver does feel relaxed, due to low noise levels and the access to really powerful torque, under the right foot. This feel of the truck and the way it seamlessly accelerates when needed, will probably aid drivers in adopting a more relaxed style, and then be better able to get more range.

The design refresh retains a walk through cabin, the eCanter and Canter share a cabin design, so there is still the dash mounted gearstick for the diesel powered version. However, on the eCanter, that control now selects the regenerative braking option. Position three regenerates the most and works very much like an engine brake or retarder on large diesels, it brings the truck up quite quickly.

 

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