Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid: Successful fleet trial in London reaches half-way stage
London
Mar 29, 2010
  • Ten trucks with hybrid drive running reliably in eight fleets
  • Over 260,000 kilometres covered to date, with savings of around 5000 litres of diesel
  • Findings from London to be incorporated into the next hybrid generation
  • Development of the Canter Eco Hybrid continues apace
  • Almost 1000 units of the Canter Eco Hybrid produced to date
  • Successful exports to Asia, Europe and Australia
  • Intensive vehicle monitoring
  • Daimler world leader in alternative drive systems
The half-way stage has been reached in the fleet trial of the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid in the London area. Since August 2008 ten light-duty trucks fitted with an innovative hybrid drive have covered around 263,700 km in eight fleets operated by Daimler Trucks customer’s. This trial forms part of Daimler Trucks’ global initiative entitled "Shaping Future Transportation". The aim of this initiative is to turn the zero-emission commercial vehicle of tomorrow into reality with efficient and clean drive systems and alternative fuels.
18 months into the three-year fleet trial, the hybrid technology has so far proved to be reliable. Depending on its particular application, the Canter Eco Hybrid uses around 10 to 15 percent less fuel than a conventional light-duty truck, with correspondingly lower CO2 emissions. The ten light-duty trucks have so far saved around 5000 litres of fuel, thereby relieving the strain on the environment and helping to preserve natural resources. The Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid represents an important step along the way to a zero-emission drivetrain for commercial vehicles. Daimler Trucks is pressing ahead with the development of the light-duty truck with hybrid drive using the extensive on road experience acquired from the trial fleet of almost 1000 commercial vehicles on three continents.
London: a bustling major international city with air quality challenges
It’s no coincidence that London provides the venue for the largest fleet trial of trucks with hybrid drives in Europe to date. With a population of around eight million in Central London and some 14 million in the Greater London region, the British capital is the largest city in the European Union and ranks among the major cities of the world. The bustling city is one of the world's leading financial and commercial centres. London is home to tens of thousands of shops and markets, large shopping centres and department stores.
Equally typical of London, however, are its inverted atmospheric conditions - accompanied by high NOx levels and a corresponding health issues for the population - and dense traffic, despite the excellent local transport amenities. In order to reduce pollution in central London, a city toll (London Congestion Charge) was introduced in 2003 and subsequently extended four years later to the present total of 22 London districts. Areas in which the toll charge applies are signposted with a large "C" in a red circle.
Canter Eco-Hybrid : Proven reliability in daily use
The half-way point in the fleet trial of the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid does not signal a break for the ten light-duty trucks. They remain in service day-in, day-out, each covering some 400 to 2800 km a month. Together, they have clocked up over a quarter of a million kilometres in the space of 18 months. One finding that has emerged is that the hybrid drive is stable. This applies both to the reliability of all hybrid-specific components, including the state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery, and to the fuel consumption levels in continuous use.
Fuel savings in the order of 10 percent
Fuel consumption over all vehicles is just below 17 litres per 100 km. While direct comparison is not possible on account of the technical modifications undertaken for operation in Europe, experts have established a reduction in fuel consumption of around 10 percent in comparison to conventional vehicles. This is accompanied by an equivalent cut in the trucks' CO2 emissions. The reduced noise emissions that come with the Hybrid drive make a significant contribution to reducing the impact on the environment.
Fuel consumption remains very consistent, despite different modes of deployment in urban and extra urban settings. This is attributable to the hybrid drive, and can be seen by the analysis of a vehicle in service with the Royal Mail. This vehicle covers 5-10 percent of its mileage with the support of the electric motor and can be attributed to a high percentage of extra urban journeys at average speeds from 40 to over 60 km/h. These conditions entail comparatively low use of the electric motor. In the stop-and-go traffic of inner-city London, the average speed drops to around 20 km/h. The support rate (share of mileage covered by the electric motor) rises to around 15 percent. Thanks to the hybrid drive, fuel consumption rises only very moderately from around 15 l per 100 km to 17 l per 100 km, despite the extremely demanding operating conditions.
Divergent conditions in Europe and Japan
Fuel savings in the London fleet trial fall short of those achieved with the series production Canter Eco Hybrids in Japan. A reduction in fuel consumption of around 10 to 30 percent has been calculated here. This difference is due to different underlying conditions: while the Canter Eco Hybrid is deployed for the most part with a permissible gross vehicle weight of 5.5 and 6.5 t in Japan, 7.5 t variants are used in London due to operational and legislative requirements in the UK. Europe also involves greater distances, while road traffic is even denser in Japan's major cities, resulting in a correspondingly larger proportion of idling.
Findings from London to be incorporated into the next hybrid generation
On the basis of the experience acquired with the series production vehicles and the fleet trial in London, the Global Hybrid Center at Daimler Trucks in Japan is already working on the next generation of the Canter Eco Hybrid. While the electrical component of the hybrid drive remained unchanged for the fleet trial in London, a more powerful electric motor would be proposed in view of the European service conditions involving a higher overall gross vehicle weight, higher speeds and a smaller proportion of idling. This would enable a higher support rate, with the likelihood of a further ,and significant, reduction in fuel consumption. A future Canter Eco Hybrid should take due account of the different underlying operating conditions from continent to continent – a model specifically tailored for European applications of the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid is on the horizon.
A start/stop facility on the future Canter Eco Hybrid will also lead to a further reduction in fuel consumption in the region of 3 to 5 percent.
Development of the Canter Eco Hybrid continues apace
The Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) has already taken significant steps towards the development of the standard production model of the Canter Eco Hybrid. The power output of the combustion engine on the Japanese variant has risen to 96 kW (130 hp) by using a turbocharger with variable nozzle turbines. MFTBC has also extended the model range, incorporating variants with different wheelbases.
By optimising the control system for the hybrid drive a further reduction in fuel consumption has been achieved also noticeably improving the Canter Eco Hybrid's performance. The development engineers have achieved these advances by modifying the software controlling the powertrain and improving the energy management.
The drive components have remained essentially unchanged for almost four years and have proven exceptionally reliable in service. In comparison with rival products, the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid is regarded not only in its native country of Japan as the benchmark in terms of its technical merits, its longevity and its fuel savings, but in other markets where it is operating too.
Production of the Canter Eco Hybrid soon to reach the 1000 mark
The Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid is currently enjoying great success in competition with other light-duty trucks with hybrid drives. Launched in Japan in July 2006 as the "cleanest light-duty truck in the world", almost 1000 units have rolled off the production line since the beginning of series production, and output continues to grow. 270 Canter Eco Hybrids were sold worldwide last year, despite the global economic crisis. The Canter Eco Hybrid was the first light-duty truck to meet the stringent exhaust emissions standards which have applied in Japan since 2007.
Successful exports to Asia, Europe and Australia
The Canter Eco Hybrid has since gone into service outside of the Japanese market, in addition to the ten vehicles participating in the fleet trial in London, MFTBC will be delivering series production vehicles to Ireland, Hong Kong and Australia this year. This will mark the first delivery of a series production hybrid truck in Europe. Ten vehicles are destined for Ireland's leading power utility, the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) in Dublin, ESB will use the vehicles for customer services and infrastructure maintenance. The series production Canter Eco Hybrids are similar to the Japanese vehicles, with a permissible gross weight of 6.5 t, in contrast to the vehicles in London. The engines comply with Japanese exhaust emissions standard JP05. Apart from different measuring methods and a different profile, this standard is roughly comparable to the European Euro 4 exhaust emissions directive. The Irish government has issued a special licence for the Japanese hybrid truck.
An order for a further 25 Fuso Canter Eco Hybrids has been received from Australia - the largest order for the Canter Eco Hybrid outside of Japan to date. The vehicles are currently being delivered to the express freight company Star Track Express, based in Gordon near Sidney. These vehicles are also Japanese series production Canter Eco Hybrids with a permissible gross vehicle weight of 6.5 t. Another two Canter Eco Hybrids have been delivered to Hong Kong. MFTBC is successfully implementing their strategy that was made to successively expand exports of hybrid vehicles in the course of this year.
Designed for urban operation in large cities
As a light-duty truck in compact design covering a gross weight range from 5.5 to 6.5 t, the series production Canter Eco Hybrid has been designed for use on short routes such as are typically encountered in service in major cities and conurbations. The Fuso Canter covers the entire range of short-range and urban freight distribution, from the classic distribution truck with box body for dry freight through temperature-controlled operations for fresh and frozen food services to construction site or hire vehicles.
It is used for the most part in applications in which environmental considerations are a critical factor. The fleets involved have an environmental policy that has reducing emissions as a priority, as illustrated by a number of examples from the eight fleets of the London fleet trial with the Canter Eco Hybrid.
Royal Mail: reduced diesel consumption, reduced costs
In its annual report on environmental and social matters (Corporate Social Responsibility), the Royal Mail discloses the company's total CO2 emissions, the fuel consumption of all its vehicles and the share of regenerative energy in its total energy consumption. The fleet of more than 33,000 vehicles covers around 600 million miles each year, consuming 140 million litres of fuel. These figures provide a graphic illustration of the extent to which measures to cut fuel consumption can reduce both the impact on pollution and operating costs. The Royal Mail reduced its fuel consumption by around 2.5 million litres as a result of fuel-saving measures last year, at the same time cutting emissions of climate-damaging CO2 by around 7000 t.
The Canter Eco Hybrid is used by the company's parcel service subsidiary, Parcelforce. It is used to collect and deliver parcels in east London, calling at around 15 stops along its route. This also includes direct-mail pick-ups from six companies. When necessary, the truck is also used for inter-urban trips to the Coventry hub, close to the airport.
Scottish and Southern Energy: improved efficiency and carbon footprint
This energy company regards its Canter Eco Hybrids as an intelligent and environmentally friendly means of transportation. It’s engineers are engaged on various types of work in the field of energy supply in and around London. The Canter Eco Hybrid is used to transport the materials that are needed as and where they are required. In this way, it saves numerous trips to the depot, increases the engineers' efficiency and lowers the company's carbon footprint.
DHL: carbon-neutral delivery of letters and parcels
For some years now, market player Deutsche Post DHL has been offering a carbon-neutral delivery service for letters and parcels in 20 European countries and 17 countries of the Asia/Pacific region as part of its "GoGreen" project. DHL calculates its transport-related CO2 emissions and supports emissions-reducing projects throughout the world to a corresponding extent. In this way, DHL carries out the carbon-neutral delivery of over 100 million letters each year in Germany alone. At the end of 2008 the company opened the first carbon-neutral depot in Great Britain, a distribution depot for a telecommunications company. In the "SmartTruck" pilot project in 2009, DHL Express reduced fuel consumption, journey times and costs in its express service in Berlin with the aid of a newly developed dynamic route planning system. Daimler Trucks is conducting trials of the Mercedes-Benz Atego with hybrid drive at several locations in Germany in cooperation with DHL.
Tesco gives customers tips on how to reduce CO2 emissions
In addition to reducing its own CO2 emissions, the Tesco supermarket chain also supports the efforts of its customers' to reduce their energy consumption. Eco-friendly actions earn them "green points" on a special club card. Tesco is aiming to transfer "green" technologies from developed countries to newly industrialising countries. The "Buy one, get one free – later" scheme enables consumers to order free fresh products at a later time, when they are actually needed.
The Canter Eco Hybrid is used for a daily fresh food service run from a distribution centre in north London to the city centre. The vehicle clocks up a total annual mileage of 22,000 miles (37,000 kilometres) on this 60-mile (100-kilometre) round trip. Tesco uses the Canter Eco Hybrid to promote its environmental objectives.
TNT: aiming to become a carbon-neutral company
The globally operative postal and express service TNT is certified according to the worldwide environmental standard ISO 14001. TNT publicises its CO2 emissions in accordance with the international "Greenhouse Gas Protocol" standard which serves as a reference basis for business enterprises, organisations and govern­ments. It is a long-term objective of TNT to be the first company in its industry to achieve carbon-neutral operations. The fleet of 14,500 vehicles plays a major role in this context, as it is responsible for 28 percent of the company's CO2 emissions. TNT aims to achieve its ambitious objective through improvement in it’s network, driver training, alternative fuels and vehicle technology. The hybrid drive plays a key role here. In its express service segment, the company has managed to reduce the fuel consumption of its vans and light-duty trucks with a gross weight of up to 7.5 t by around 5 percent in the space of just one year.
Ringway: hybrid truck with electrically operated tipper body
Ringway is one of three companies commissioned by Transport for London to maintain the city's roads. Ringway's Canter Eco Hybrid is fitted with an electrically operated tipper body. The Canter transports tools and materials. The tools are safely accommodated in a stowage box between driver's cab and body. A loading crane facilitates loading and unloading. Deployed primarily in the centre of London, the Canter Eco Hybrid provides a prime example of how CO2 emissions can be reduced in the country's first low-emission zone.
Amey: electric power take-off replaces mechanical variant
Amey is another company contracted by Transport for London. It has been assigned responsibility for maintaining the roads in northern London. Its Canter Eco Hybrid is also equipped with a tipper body, and it is employed to transport materials and tools for repairing roads and footpaths. The design of the innovative body and its safety accessories reduce the risk of accidents at work. For reasons of power transmission, the conventional power take-off unit has been replaced by an electric drive unit.
Aiming for drastic reductions in CO2 emissions
A common aim of all these companies is to cut their CO2 emissions by up to 30 percent in the coming years by means of ambitious programmes. This signifies a drastic reduction in harmful emissions, preserving resources and also cutting costs in many instances. In the area of express services and distribution transportation in particular, these benefits are also accompanied by an enhanced image - and environmentally friendly transport has since emerged as a crucial advantage in securing new orders.
Ten Canter Eco Hybrids in service with eight customers in the greater London region
The trial in Great Britain is being conducted with ten Canter Eco Hybrids operated by the eight customers Amey, DHL, Hill Hire, Ringway, Royal Mail, Scottish and Southern, Tesco and TNT. The customer trial began in August 2008 and is scheduled to run for three years. In selecting the partners for the trial, emphasis was placed on covering the broadest possible spectrum of customers' needs regarding a commercial vehicle on distribution services.
The broad variety of vehicles and service conditions leads to diverse experience with the Canter Eco Hybrid in London. While the trucks deployed on parcel delivery services by the logistics companies cover much of their mileage in stop-and-go traffic, the supermarket's trucks run on regular journeys between central warehouses and their stores.
The very different body types are a further indication of significantly different operating conditions. While box bodies of various sizes are most common, two tippers with a loading crane are also in use, as well as a refrigerated box for temperature-controlled deliveries. Two Mercedes-Benz service centres specialised in hybrid applications are available in the greater London area to provide the customers with support in daily operation of the hybrid trucks.
Intensive vehicle monitoring
The ten Canter Eco Hybrids clock up between 400 and 2800 kilometres a month in the greater London region. Fleet management systems continuously record all the relevant data. The parameters monitored include fuel consumption, engine speed, average vehicle speed, proportion of hybrid operation using the electric motor, acceleration, accelerator position, gear changing and frequency of usage of the individual gears. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the data is carried out by Daimler Trucks' Global Hybrid Centre in Japan.
Based in Japan: Global Hybrid Centre of Daimler Trucks
This Global Hybrid Centre (GHC) of Daimler Trucks is based at MFTBC (Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation) in Japan. The company has acquired extensive know-how in the development of this drive technology in recent years. The GHC was established on 1 August 2008. It coordinates Daimler Trucks' worldwide hybrid activities with the Mercedes-Benz, Fuso and Freightliner brands and allows the speedy disemination of knowledge that has been acquired in this field. GHC's director is Fumio Akikawa. GHC ensures that synergies are exploited and joint strategies are implemented systematically. So-called local application centres then undertake adaptation and implementation for the individual brands and vehicles in their respective markets.
The Canter Eco Hybrid is one success story that highlights the competence of MFTBC and the Global Hybrid Centre of Daimler Trucks. Launched in Japan in the summer of 2006, it was unveiled in Europe at the inaugural event of Daimler AG's "Shaping Future Transportation" initiative in Stuttgart in November 2007, since then it has undergone continual development.
Combining two technologies
For the largest fleet trial of hybrid trucks in Europe MTFBC produced a special model series of the vehicles, combining not only two drive technologies but also the engineering of two classes of truck from two different continents. The permissible gross vehicle weight of the Canter Eco Hybrid in Japan generally stands at 5.5 t or 6.5 t, in keeping with standard practices there, while the vehicles for the customer trials in Great Britain are based on the heavier-duty models of the Canter corresponding to the permissible gross vehicle weight of 7.5 t which is common here. To this end, the 7.5 t Fuso Canter production vehicle has been adapted for Europe, incorporating the hybrid components needed. The technical design of the vehicles' drive train is the same as the Japanese Canter Eco Hybrid. The vehicles of course meet with European statutory requirements and are fully type approved. The same applies to the engines, which meet the European exhaust emission standards.
Design based on Daimler Trucks' standard hybrid architecture
The design of the Canter Eco Hybrid's hybrid drive, the ideal solution for trucks, corresponds to the configuration established by Daimler Trucks in this field. This configuration has been introduced for all of the Group's trucks with hybrid drive and has emerged as a generally recognised international standard for trucks. It centres on a "parallel" hybrid, which is best suited to the technical design of the drive train in trucks and additionally offers marked advantages in terms of procurement costs. The electric motor is installed behind the combustion engine and the clutch, but in front of the transmission. This has the advantage that the engine and the electric motor are able to drive the truck on their own or together ("in parallel").
The architecture makes it possible, in principle, to drive on electric power alone and enables regeneration (recovery of braking energy), boosting by the electric motor and optimisation of the diesel engine's characteristics. It has emerged as the best compromise between complexity of design, space available, power output and weight. Additional components are the batteries to drive the electric motor, an inverter or voltage converter and the hybrid control unit. Due to the changes which were needed to adapt the diesel engine to the vehicle, the engine does not cut out when idling, this would be addressed moving forward to further reduce fuel consumption on the Canter Eco Hybrid.
Compact diesel engine in the 7.5 t truck
A four-cylinder diesel engine with a displacement of 3.0 l provides the basis for the drive system. In the Japanese model this engine originally had a power output of 92 kW (125 hp) at 3200 rpm, generating 294 Nm of torque at 1700 rpm. The combustion engine incorporates exhaust gas recirculation and a particulate filter. In the course of adaptation to European exhaust emissions standards and in view of the markedly higher permissible gross vehicle weight of 7.5 t, the power rating was increased to 107 kW (145 hp) at 3200 rpm and the maximum torque was raised to 362 Nm at 1700 rpm.
To enable optional operation with the conventional diesel engine on its own, the Canter Eco Hybrid also possesses a starter, alternator and starter batteries – all designed for 24 V. Power transmission on the Canter Eco Hybrid is carried out by means of an Inomat II automated five-speed gearbox. This is a typical configuration for light-duty trucks in Japan, although not currently available in the UK. The transmission control unit on the Canter Eco Hybrid also controls the hybrid system.
Slimline electric motor, cutting-edge lithium-ion batteries
The electric motor between clutch and transmission comes in a particularly slim, space-saving design. The three-phase permanent-magnet motor has a maximum power output of 35 kW (continuous power 14.5 kW) and generates maximum torque of 200 Nm. These power outputs apply to the Canter Eco Hybrid variants in both Japan and Great Britain.
The electric motor is powered by a set of state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 1.9 kWh. The batteries consist of two modules comprising a total of 96 cells. They are designed for a service life of at least ten years or 180,000 miles and are accommodated in a housing on the left side of the truck's frame as seen in direction of travel. The electric inverter is also installed on this side. The inverter transforms direct current into alternating current and vice-versa by means of pulse-width modulation.
Recovered braking energy is supplied to the batteries, the electric motor acting as a generator during braking. In order to boost this effect, the clutch is disengaged during braking so that the motor can fully recuperate the deceleration energy.
The cooling system for the electric drive unit is installed on the opposite side of the frame – on the right as seen in direction of travel.
Moving off on electric power saves fuel and helps to protect the environment
The Canter Eco Hybrid switches its operating mode according to the driving situation. The electric motor is used to move off, with the clutch to the diesel engine disengaged. The engine runs at tickover, to power the conventionally operated auxiliary units. This means the Canter Eco Hybrid moves off extremely quietly and with virtually zero emissions, benefiting from the performance capabilities of the electric motor, whose design ensures that full torque is available directly from a standing start.
In case of strong acceleration, the clutch is closed and the diesel engine engaged. When the truck has attained its cruising speed and is no longer accelerating, the diesel engine takes over completely. During downhill stretches the electric motor serves as a generator, transforming the braking energy into electricity which is fed into the batteries. An automatic start/stop function which is installed in the Japanese variant as standard is to be incorporated into the European version in the next stage of the development process.
Development of diesel-powered Canter conforming to Euro 5/EEV also ongoing
In parallel with the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid, MFTBC is also pushing ahead with the development of the diesel-powered Canter. Produced in Europe at the Tramagal plant in Portugal, this vehicle now features a new diesel engine. Again with a displacement of 3.0 l, this new engine comes in three power ratings ranging from 96 kW (130 hp) to 129 kW (175 hp). The transmission is a mechanical six-speed gearbox with joystick gear lever in the dashboard. Previously designed to Euro 5 standard, since February the Canter has complied with the EEV (Enhanced Environmentally Friendly Vehicle) emissions level as standard. The Canter exceeds the requirements of this emissions level - the most stringent voluntary emissions standard available at present - without any additional fuel consumption or costs in comparison to the standard Euro 5 Canter.
2010 marks 30-year anniversary of the European Fuso Canter
This year also marks an anniversary for the Canter. Production of the Canter for Europe began 30 years ago in 1980 at the Tramagal plant in Portugal, around 90 miles to the north-east of Lisbon. The Canter is now supplied to more than 30 countries throughout Europe from here. Since 2003, the Fuso Canter has been part of the Daimler Trucks product range.
Production of the Fuso Canter in Japan extends back as far as 1963, and it is now in its seventh generation here. It is by far the biggest-selling model series from MFTBC, one of Asia's most successful truck makers.
Daimler world leader in drive systems
Well over 10,000 trucks, buses and transporters fitted with alternative drives from Daimler Trucks, Daimler Buses and Daimler Vans are in service on the world's roads everyday. They have all passed their technical trials with flying colours – from the hybrid-powered urban regular-service buses from Orion and Freightliner's trucks and van chassis in North America through the Fuso Canter Eco-Hybrid light-duty truck to the Fuso Aero Star Eco Hybrid urban regular-service bus in Japan.
The same goes for variants with natural gas drives from Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Citaro, and Econic, for the Freightliner van chassis, Fuso Canter, Fighter, Aero Star CNG and other drive systems. No other manufacturer in the world has produced more commercial vehicles with alternative drives. Orion is the world's leading manufacturer of hybrid buses, for example, with around 3000 urban regular-service buses in service worldwide.
Hybrid drive a key technology for emission-free driving
This is only the beginning, though. The Mercedes-Benz Atego BlueTec Hybrid and the Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid are now going into series production. An initial small series of the new Citaro Fuel Cell Hybrid is even paving the way towards zero-emission driving, on the back of the experience acquired with three dozen Citaros fitted with a fuel cell drive which have been in service on three continents since 2002, clocking up a total of around 2.5 million kilometres. Similarly, a batch of 100 vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz Vito with electric drive will also roll off the production line this year.
All vehicles proving their worth in daily use
A crucial factor here is that the trials do not take the form of clinical tests carried out on isolated test vehicles but involve vehicles which are used by customers in everyday service conditions, proving their suitability for commercial use.
Joint intercontinental development
The practical experience acquired across the continents has spawned joint develop­ments. Against this background, the engineers at Daimler Trucks have opted for a common architecture for the hybrid drive, notwithstanding the use of different units for different sizes and brands of vehicle. With careful consideration to costs, efficiency, reliability and the underlying technical parameters, Daimler Trucks is focussing on a parallel hybrid drive with the same layout in all vehicles. The Global Hybrid Centre based at MFTBC in Japan is responsible for coordinating the development programmes.
The totally different conditions that urban buses in particular are subject to have prompted Daimler Buses to adopt a general policy in favour of a serial hybrid drive in the USA as well as in Europe and Japan.
Lithium-ion batteries as a cutting-edge storage technology
With regard to the deployed technology, both Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses employ lithium-ion batteries as energy accumulators for hybrid vehicles. This battery technology offers particularly high energy density and high development potential. An example of the continent bridging collaboration is seen in the choice of a joint supplier for batteries for the current hybrid buses from Orion and Mercedes-Benz.
Cutting-edge lithium-ion batteries appear to have solved the problem of electricity storage – a major drawback of hybrid vehicles to date. Lithium-ion batteries combine high power density with large storage capacity. They also cope well with frequent and fast charging and discharging cycles. The aim is for them to achieve a service life corresponding to that of a vehicle.
Experts are generally agreed that the hybrid drive has a bright future. Its outstanding merits include the high reliability of its components, no increase in maintenance requirements despite the incorporation of additional units and the drive's environmental friendliness as a result of substantially reduced fuel consumption, quiet operation in electric mode and emission-free driving over short distances. The low fuel consumption leads automatically to low CO2 emissions. Fine dust emissions are also reduced substantially. As such, the hybrid drive constitutes the ideal key technology opening up the way to emission-free driving.
BlueTec diesel technology: economical and environmentally friendly
In parallel with the intercontinental development of the hybrid and electric drives, Daimler is also pushing ahead with the further development of the diesel engine in pursuit of greater economic efficiency and environmental friendliness. A notable outcome of this work was the introduction of BlueTec diesel technology. Launched in Europe in 2005, it has since proven its worth in trucks and buses numbering well into the hundreds of thousands. With several years of success in Japan to its name, the undisputable merits of BlueTec diesel technology are now seeing it establish a foothold in North America too.
Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid "Royal Mail"
Technical data
Country of origin
Japan
Design/body type
Chassis with box body
Permissible gross vehicle weight
7.5 t
Length/width/height
Body: 6400/2200/2200 mm
Chassis load-bearing capacity
3.6 t
Drive system
Parallel hybrid drive, diesel-electric
Diesel engine
4M42 T2 4-cylinder in-line engine, exhaust emissions standard Euro 4, displacement 2977cc, power rating 107 kW (145 hp) at 3200 rpm, max. torque 362 Nm at 1700 rpm
Electric drive
Three-phase permanent magnet motor, max. power output 35 kW, generator output 35 kW, lithium-ion batteries, capacity 1.9 kW/h
Transmission
Inomat-II, automated 5-speed transmission
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