German giant Daimler is taking orders in Australia for its first all-electric light duty truck, the Fuso eCanter, with the first vehicles due to arrive here in the next few months.
The eCanter is powered by six high-voltage lithium ion battery packs with 420 V and 13.8kWh each, and a total 66 kilowatt hours of usable power. That gives the truck a range of 100 kilometres and a load capacity up to three and a half tons.
The 4×2 truck’s power output is rated at 135kW, has a maximum torque of 390Nm, and a top speed of 80 kilometres an hour.
The company says the batteries can be recharged to 80 per cent in an hour, and to full capacity in 90 minutes using a 50 kilowatt rapid charger.
The truck is made by Daimler’s susbidiary Fuso in Portugal, and is already on sale in Europe, the US and Japan. The company says only around 100 of the buses are on the road.
The company is pitching the truck as ideal for “set loops in big cities, where the truck’s zero local emissions and near-silent operation is most appreciated”.
“The eCanter is perfect for emission-sensitive areas in our big cities, where many pedestrians and residents stand to benefit, but it is not just a concept truck or environmental tribute,” Fuso Truck and Bus Australia director Alex Müller sais.
“It is a serious truck with a payload of more than four tonnes and it gets the job done day and night.”
The company said only a limited number of the trucks would be available for customers in Australia but siad availability was “expected to increase in time”. The truck will be on display at the Brisbane Truck Show in mid-May.
Daimler also makes heavy duty electric trucks in its Mercedes-Benz and Freightlines brands – the eActros and the eCascadia – and a medium-duty truck, the eM2.
James Fernyhough is a reporter at RenewEconomy and The Driven. He has worked at The Australian Financial Review and the Financial Times, and is interested in all things related to climate change and the transition to a low-carbon economy.