Japan embraces hybrid truck phenomenon

By: Greg Bush

Daimler Trucks hits the 500 mark of Mitsubishi Fuso Canter hybrids truck sold in Japan since 2006, including 250 in 2008

Japan embraces hybrid truck phenomenon
Japan embraces hybrid truck phenomenon

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) has now 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-percent increase from the figure recorded for the prior year. This dynamic development is being fuelled 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 due to the hybrid truck’s fuel efficiency benefits in stop-and-go traffic and delivery operations for parcel services and wholesalers.

The Canter Eco Hybrid has been participating in Europe’s biggest fleet test for hybrid trucks since August 2008, when a total of 10 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-tonne 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-tonne 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 specialised Mercedes-Benz service centres located in the London metropolitan area.

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