Fleet News

Hybrid truck heralds exciting possibilities

MITSUBISHI is launching the world’s first diesel/electric hybrid truck in Japan in July, which is a prelude to offering the technology in smaller commercial vehicles.

The Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid features a four cylinder 3.0-litre Euro IV diesel engine pumping out 125bhp and 213lb-ft of torque while the electric motor mated to it adds an extra 147lb-ft of torque.

The gearbox is a five-speed automatic while the Canter also boasts Mercedes-Benz’s stop-start system which cuts the engine out after three seconds idling and is aimed at further improving fuel economy. The price is £5,900 more than a standard Canter.

Tests in Japan so far have shown fuel savings of 30%.

DaimlerChrysler, which owns 90% of Mitsubishi Fuso, believes the technology will be used in vans such as the Mercedes-Benz Vito and Sprinter.

A DaimlerChrysler CV spokesman said: ‘A lot of other manufacturers may be talking about hybrid power but we have a vehicle here and now which is about to go on sale.

‘We showed it off at the CV Show in April and it produced a huge amount of interest. One major supermarket chain has been assessing this vehicle and a lot of smaller fleets have also been asking about it.’

  • Trevor Gelken, editor of our sister title Fleet Van, was the first British journalist to test drive the new hybrid Canter. Read his report in next week’s Fleet News.
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