The Future is Electric


Steve Brooks reports from Tokyo

 

Anyone thinking electric trucks are simply pie-in-the-sky concepts with limited potential in the real world of road transport had better start thinking again.

At the Tokyo Motor Show this week, a vast array of electric cars and commercial vehicles were capped by Mitsubishi Fuso’s unveiling of the remarkable ‘Vision One’ all-electric heavy-duty truck.

Critically, ‘Vision One’ is far more than just another concept unit and with the simultaneous creation of E-Fuso as a stand-alone brand, the electric heavy is said to be just three years away from full production.

E-Fuso is the newest brand within the giant Daimler group and signals the corporation’s undisguised intention to be the world front-runner in development of electric trucks which are operationally and economically feasible.

The unveiling of ‘Vision One’ comes in the wake of the launch a month earlier in New York City of Fuso’s eCanter, the first series-produced all-electric light-duty truck.

Leading Fuso’s charge into an exciting and seemingly unstoppable era of electric trucks is Marc Llistosella, head of Daimler Trucks Asia.

Big believer. Daimler Trucks Asia chief Marc Llistosella

Speaking exclusively to a small group of Australian commercial vehicle writers immediately before the official unveiling of its electric models, a highly motivated and passionate Llistosella said, "With the unveiling of E-Fuso’s Vision One, we again demonstrate we are the front-runner in the electrification of commercial vehicles.

"Arriving just a month after launching eCanter, this is proof of our commitment to electrify our complete range of trucks and buses, from to light to heavy-duty. A commitment we substantiate with today’s launch of E-Fuso, the first product brand dedicated exclusively to electric trucks and buses."

The E-Fuso Vision One has a gross vehicle weight of 23.26 tonnes and a payload of 11.11 tonnes, which according to E-Fuso, is only 1.8 tonnes less than its diesel counterpart.

 Vitally, its current range is up to 350 km on a single charge.

According to an E-Fuso statement, while the electrification of long-haul trucks will still need substantial time to become technically feasible, the potential application for Vision One is obviously as a regional intra-city distribution truck.

An emphatic Marc Llistosella concluded, "We have proven electric trucks are feasible for commercialisation and with rapidly evolving battery technology, we will continue to develop electric trucks and buses that will have a positive environmental and economic impact on society."

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