Electric trucks make debut in German city of Stuttgart

27th May 2016 By: Irma Venter - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

Daimler Trucks has provided a small fleet of electric trucks for the German city of Stuttgart.

Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, Daimler management board member responsible for Daimler Trucks, and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corporation (MFTBC) president and CEO Marc Llistosella in April handed over five battery-powered Fuso Canter E-Cells to Stuttgart mayor Fritz Kuhn and the Hermes Logistics Company.

MFTBC has, to date, invested €40-million in the development of electric trucks.

Over the next 12 months, the municipality of Stuttgart will put four of the five six-ton Fuso Canter E-Cell trucks to the test.

Two vehicles with hydraulic tipper bodies are to be deployed in road construction and landscaping, and two vehicles with box bodies will be assigned to municipal furniture transport and waste disposal operations.

Another Canter E-Cell will be used for parcel deliveries in urban traffic for the Hermes Logistics Company.

“Today’s combustion engine is highly efficient, ecofriendly and, above all, clean. In long-distance transport, it will remain the only option for a long time to come,” notes Bernhard.

“[However], in urban short-radius distribution, a partial switch to electric trucks will become technically feasible and economically viable within a few years' time. “Daimler Trucks is pushing ahead with the further development of this technology.

“I am firmly convinced that the Canter E-Cell will prove its strengths in the German climate and in the topographically demanding area of urban Stuttgart,” adds Llistosella.

“The Canter E-Cell offers our customers trans-port services which are not only environment-friendly, but also economical. “Our test in Lisbon, [Portugal], revealed savings of around €1 000 per 10 000 km, in comparison to diesel trucks.”

Kuhn regards “sustainable mobility” as a key issue for modern cities.

“We have decided to make a change to our fleet. All new cars purchased by the municipality will be electric. I think this sends out a very strong signal.”

Hermes Logistics Group Germany MD Dirk Rahn says the electric truck acquisition is part of the company’s long-term climate protection programme, under which it aims to halve its carbon dioxide fleet emissions by 2020.

Lisbon Test
A year-long test run, from June 2014 to June 2015, saw eight Canter E-Cells operate in the service of various customers in Lisbon.

With a range of more than 100 km, the vehicles exceeded the average daily distance covered by many trucks operating in light-duty, short-radius distribution.

On the basis of the prevailing costs of diesel and electricity during the test period in Portugal, operating costs were up to 64% lower than the costs of a conventional diesel truck, reports Daimler Trucks.

MFTBC says Fuso engineers are already work-ing on the next generation of the Canter E-Cell. The company has about 3 500 hybrid trucks in service around the world.