Fuso, Trucks

Smooth Ride in the City

Smooth Ride in the City

The first test drive of the second generation Fuso eCanter demonstrates how city delivery in the latest electric truck is going to give the driver a smooth ride in the city.

Driving and then running a Fuso eCanter will be many truck operators first contact with electric truck technology. Running a truck powered by batteries and being charged, either en route, or back at the depot, plus the importance of cooling systems, modularity, and weight distribution.

The development of this next generation of electric vehicles from Fuso, has taken key learnings from the earlier generations, and this is the third iteration of the eCanter which PowerTorque has had a chance to drive, and the major steps forward at each step are very clear.

The first prototype we saw was a novelty, but a bit rough when it came to accelerating. The progress made on the first eCanter to be sold here, three years ago, was striking, with the computer controlling the application of power through the drivetrain to such degree that driving it felt smooth.

Image: Prime Creative Media

This was Australia’s first taste of an electric truck from a major manufacturer and there are now around 50 on Australian roads

The arrival of the second eCanter may not be so strikingly different, but it does demonstrate a genuine level of sophistication in electric truck design. The addition of the eAxle means this is the finished article, with the emphasis now on improving the communication and integration between the batteries, electric motor and final drive.

On the evidence of this test drive, the engineers have done an excellent job. As the cost calculations change over time, we can expect to see many more appearing on our roads in the next few years.

Advanced safety features in these new truck models includes side guard assist with active braking, stopping the vehicle to prevent accidents with people, vehicles or objects on the nearside of the truck.

Operators do now understand the need for advanced systems to stop vehicles in emergency situations. Concerns about the reliability of these systems, potential benefits. the effectiveness of audible warning systems and the challenges of detecting pedestrians and cyclists are likely to fade as they become the norm in our fleets.

Image: Fuso/Supplied

“All of our experience with the first generation eCanter, with the first generation OEM electric vehicle (EV) into the market has informed this new eCanter,” said Romesh Rodrigo, Head of Vehicle Homologation, Regulatory Affairs and Future Mobility at Daimler Truck Australia Pacific.

“It was also very evident about its first mover advantage, and the fact that we only offered it in one variant shows how much effort went into the vehicle itself. The first generation units have clocked up over 8 million km, globally. There’s a lot of key learnings come out of that and fed into the next generation eCanter.

“It’s been really interesting hearing the feedback around the applications where they have targeted, saying, this is where it’s at, this is what does the job and some of them have had carved out a special job for it.

“The good thing about eCanter having been introduced into our market for a period of time is the fact that our dealers have had experience with them as well. It’s not what they’re doing day-in day-out, but if one comes in, it’s not going to be foreign to the network.”

Fuso has confirmed the next generation all-electric eCanter will be launched in Australia this May with a full model line-up consisting of 14 variants.

 

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