Photo: Lauren Fletcher

Photo: Lauren Fletcher

Mitsubishi Fuso showed off a prototype battery-electric Canter FE-Series medium-duty cabover that has been in testing in Europe for a year. The company previewed the vehicle this week at the NTEA Work Truck Show.

The company conducted a field trial using eight prototype vehicles with varied flatbed, stake body and dry van bodies installed. The trucks were operated in Europe where the vehicles were put into routine service. While in use, Mitsubishi Fuso engineers monitored the vehicles' performance and use profiles for a full year.

Based on diesel fuel pricing and electricity costs in the European locations where the trucks were operated, over the period of the testing, the E-Cell trucks produced a cost savings of 64%. The vehicles also demonstrated a 37% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to diesel powered trucks after accounting for emissions generated by the power plants creating the electricity needed to recharge the batteries.

"In testing we were consistently able to get more than 60 miles per charge with a payload of 4,400 pounds,” said Christopher Burdett, engineer at Fuso global hybrid center. “This truck will do very well in tight urban areas.”

The vehicles were also evaluated for practicality and suitability for their specific operating requirements and their ease of use. Types of service included express package delivery, freight forwarding in urban environments, municipal refuse, public works service, forestry service equipment hauling, and debris hauling.

“This is the future,” said Jecka Glasman, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America president & CEO.

The company expects the all-electric truck to enter the Japanese market next year before eventually entering the North American market.