Fuso launches second generation Canter Eco-Hybrid

The Fuso Canter model has been around for 50 years in 2013 and in the next few months will achieve 50,000 sales in Australia since its introduction here 37 years ago, so it was appropriate that Fuso this week launched the second generation of the Canter Eco-Hybrid truck.

More than one thousand of the first generation Eco-Hybrids (introduced to Australia in 2009) are currently in use world-wide, but the new model has been developed to appeal to the general light truck market rather than be a niche player.

The Canter Eco-Hybrid uses a parallel hybrid system incorporating a diesel engine and a battery powered electric motor that provide power to drive the vehicle from either the diesel or electric or both.

In the new model, the diesel’s power has been increased to 110kW (previously 96kW) and the electric motor’s output has been upped to 40kW (35kW in the first generation). When not required, the electric motor switches to generate power to recharge the battery, which is a revised Lithium ion unit that Fuso warrants for ten years.

Fuso’s DUONIC dual clutch automated manual transmission is standard equipment and the clutch assembly regulates the hybrid system by engaging and disengaging the diesel engine and/or the electric motor depending on power requirements.

Peak torque of the electric motor is available between zero and 2000 rpm, which allows the truck to take off using only the electric motor. The turbocharged diesel’s maximum torque of 370Nm is available between 1350 and 2840 rpm.

Another fuel economy maximiser (and emissions reducer) is the Idle Stop/Start System (ISS) which turns the diesel off and on while stopped at traffic lights.

Maintenance service intervals are a class leading 30,000 kilometres, which contributes to minimising the cost of operating the Eco-Hybrid.

“Tests conducted with StarTrack Express resulted in the Eco-Hybrid saving an average in excess of 30 per cent compared with their diesel only Canters,” said Richard Eyre, General Manager of Fuso Trucks and Buses in Australia. StarTrack Express has been operating a fleet of 25 of the first generation Eco-Hybrids.

At the launch, Fuso executives indicated that the price differential between hybrid and diesel-only Canters will be less with the new generation model than with the fist model and that the additional cost should be paid back in fuel savings within four years for the average metropolitan operator.

Fuso expect the new Canter Eco-Hybrid to appeal to a much wider range of Australian businesses and not just typical hybrid customers who have been prepared to pay a premium to invest in environmentally friendly technology.

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