FUSO launches new eCanter and premieres gas-powered cabovers at WTS17

3/15/17

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America Inc. (FUSO) announced it will bring limited-production line fully electric trucks to market before the end of 2017. The company also announced development of a new gasoline powertrain for its FE Series medium-duty cabover trucks. 

New Production Model, All-Electric eCanter 

The company will bring limited-production line fully electric trucks to market in the U.S., Japan and Europe before the end of 2017.

FUSO has dubbed this new, all-electric, battery-powered medium-duty work truck the eCanter. It will be the first 100% plug-in electric work truck designed and produced by a major truck manufacturer, and the first production models are scheduled to arrive in the U.S. later this year.

The eCanter is a Class 4 truck with a 15,995 lb. GVWR and a payload capacity of roughly 9,380 lb. It has a practical range up to 100 miles, 1- hour quick charge capability, and standard 8-hour overnight charge.

According to Jecka Glasman, FUSO’s president and CEO, “We believe the eCanter will help us chart the future of medium-duty trucking in urban environments. It delivers up to a 100-mile range, with zero emissions and zero noise pollution—what we call positive energy. We’ve had preliminary conversations with multiple customers and they are enthusiastic about the possibilities this new truck represents.”

The eCanter also offers flexible battery configurations, so end users can choose between maximizing the eCanter’s range to its full capacity of 100 miles, or working with a somewhat smaller range in order to maximize its payload.

In summarizing one of the significant aspects of these new electric trucks, Otto Schmid, FUSO’s Director, Product Management, noted, “While the new eCanter has a different look than our standard FE Series cabovers, the electric drivetrain is fitted to our standard 151.6˝-wheelbase cab-chassis—so customers and upfitters will find the same maneuverability and the same familiar 33.5” wide frame, same body attachment capability, cab-to-axle dimensions, and box sizes as they’ve enjoyed with our  traditional turbocharged diesel cabovers. And the eCanter includes a high-capacity electric power take-off (PTO) so the eCanter can be used for refrigerated applications and those requiring a liftgate or other auxiliary device.”

New Gasoline-Powered Cabovers 

The new gasoline powertrain for the FE Series medium-duty cabover trucks was premiered. The company showed a prototype of the new truck during a press conference at WTS17. This addition to the FUSO line reflects a significant expansion of the firm’s commercial truck product line.

According to Jecka Glasman, FUSO’s president and CEO, “We are very excited to hold the world premiere of our new gasoline-powered FE Series cabover trucks here at The Work Truck Show. We have partnered with PSI, General Motors Powertrain and Allison to provide what we believe will be the most competitive gas-powered medium-duty cabovers in the market.”

All three FUSO models, the FE130, FE160 and FE180, will be powered by a PSI-GMPT Vortec Series 6.0L V8, coupled to a best-in-class Allison 1000 6-speed automatic transmission—making these the only gas trucks in their class to offer PTO capability. Glasman notes, “FUSO has put together this exclusive engine/transmission package to provide unmatched power and versatility for our customers, and the Class 5 FE180 will offer the largest payload available in a gas-powered medium-duty truck.”

The new V8 gas engine models will also be the first FUSO vehicles to be assembled in the United States. Daimler’s Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation will perform the work at its Gaffney, SC, plant, using engines and transmissions built in the U.S., and chassis, cabs and axles sourced from FUSO in Europe and Japan.

As mentioned, FUSO is offering this powerful gas truck not only in Class 3 and 4, but also as the industry’s only Class 5 gas-powered model. Operators can take advantage of its best-in-class payload capacity when operating this larger truck. Customer trials for the new FE Series gas trucks are scheduled to start in 4Q2017, with full market launch to follow in 1Q2018, as 2019 model year.

Otto Schmid, FUSO’s Director, Product Management, noted, “While the new VortecV8 represents a robust new powertrain for us, we are happy to report that we have adapted these drivetrains to our standard cab-chassis configurations—so customers and upfitters will find the same familiar 33.5” wide frame, same body attachment capability, wheelbases, cab-to-axle dimensions, and box sizes as they’ve enjoyed with our low-cost-of-ownership turbocharged diesel cabovers. And using the Allison transmission has allowed us to offer the only gas-powered trucks with provision for powering auxiliary equipment like reefers and liftgates via optional PTO capability.”

For more information, visit mitfuso.com.