Fuso has started an Australian test program for its next-generation all-electric eCanter.
The zero-emission truck has begun an intense testing regime that will see it running day and night completing five double shifts a week on a loop near Melbourne.
The local test regime for the new model comes in addition to a massive global Fuso eCanter test program.
Fuso first launched the eCanter in Australia in 2021.
Fitted with a tray, the wide-cab eCanter will run half of its testing with no load and half with a full load at its Gross Vehicle mass of six tonnes.
“Fuso is determined to ensure we vigorously test our trucks, diesel or electric, in local conditions, and that is what our customers expect from an Original Equipment Manufacturer with a long history in Australia,” said Fuso Truck and Bus Australia Vice President, Alex Müller.
“The zero emission eCanter is a serious workhorse, so we need to be absolutely sure it can toil hard around the clock in rail, hail and shine on Australian roads before we hand it over to our customers,” he said.
Test data, according to Müller, will also enable Fuso to work with its customers to plan how the eCanter can be utilised in their operations when production vehicles are made available.
The existing eCanter was the first electric light truck with active emergency braking and the next model extends this safety advantage even further with additional advanced safety features.
The next generation eCanter introduces a raft of new technologies and a substantially larger line-up including different cab sizes, wheelbases and battery pack options.
One of the eCanter’s new headline technologies, not seen in other electric trucks currently available in Australia, is an eAxle, which delivers considerable efficiency gains.
In most electric truck designs, a motor is located towards the front of the truck and a driveshaft links it to the drive axle at the rear of the truck.
For the next generation eCanter, engineers have built the electric motor into the rear axle itself, so there is no need for a driveshaft. This saves weight and reduces energy losses.
The introduction of an electric Power Take Off (PTO) opens up a raft of new possibilities, with the truck’s electric power now able to operate tipper bodies, cranes, or even a fridge body.
Despite all the advances, the new eCanter can be charged with common AC power if customers don’t want to invest in a DC charging station.
The new eCanter also features a new-look exterior, while the interior has been given a major freshen-up with a futuristic digital dash and upgraded steering wheel.
The original all-electric eCanter was the first Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) electric truck launched in Australia and is working for leading fleets including Bunnings, Toohey’s, Coles, Centurion, Goldstar, Linfox, Australia Post and Team Global Express.
Fuso will open up the Australian order books for the next generation eCanter toward the end of this year.
More information on the Australian specification of the new eCanter will be released closer to the launch date.