The driving experience is not something people normally expect from a truck test drive, but it is possible to get smooth sophistication from an electric truck, reckons Tim Giles after driving the Fuso eCanter.
There is no doubt about it, electric trucks are flavour of the month, or more precisely, flavour of the decade. On the evidence of the Brisbane Truck Show this year not only are there new electric trucks coming onto the market but there is also a lot of interest on the part of truck buyers in the new technology and its potential.
Fuso is the first major global truck manufacturer to release an electric truck in the Australian market. Fuso have long been a leader in this field of technology, having shown prototypes at major truck shows around the world regularly over the last 10 years.
PowerTorque was able to test drive an early prototype model back in 2019, but now the company has released a vehicle onto the Australian market. All of these electric drivelines can be expected to follow a similar course from most of the major manufacturers.
The first vehicles to enter the market will be those in the light duty segment, where the benefits of an electric driveline are the most obvious and easiest to achieve. Later developments going up the weight range become more problematic as the need for more and heavier batteries comes into the equation and compromises payload.
This eCanter has been in production since 2017 and can be seen working in places like Japan and Europe, where government subsidies encourage operators to opt for the nearest technology to zero emissions available.
The truck tested by PowerTorque was the one displayed on the Daimler stand at the 2021 Brisbane Truck Show and comes in a typical Fuso guise. This is a light duty truck, a typical around the town delivery vehicle. Of course, this particular model has a large artwork on the truck and body proclaiming its electric power technology. It is a show truck after all.
On the trucks which will be offered for sale, from the outside there is very little difference between the look of this truck and its diesel engine equivalent. The giveaway is the blue flashes on the vehicle name and the model designation. However, anyone paying the hefty premium which comes along with electric power, at the moment, would be crazy not to proclaim the truck’s green credentials in large letters on the truck.