Daimler brings ten hybrid trucks to London

London trucking got a bit greener today as Daimler AG has delivered ten Fuso Canter Eco Hybrids to various customers in the city. The 7.5-ton hybrid trucks are expected to save about 15-percent in both fuel and carbon emissions using a diesel engine and electric drivetrain. The eight customers were specifically chosen to study what the economic benefits of the fuel savings could be, since all the trucks will be used in slightly different roles. Daimler hopes that it will become apparent after the three-year test what roles the trucks are best suited for. Daimler has even created a special service center in London for servicing of the trucks, which were delivered pre-painted in each of the customers' colors. Quite acomodating of the German automaker, wouldn't you say? The trucks themselves were introduced in 2006 and have proven popular in Japan. Daimler hopes that European customers will find that the fuel savings over a couple of years will make up for the higher initial cost that the hybrid trucks are saddled with.

[Source: Daimler AG]

Press Release:

Daimler Launches Europe's Largest Fleet Test of Hybrid Trucks in London

STUTTGART - August 12, 2008: Today, Daimler AG launched Europe's largest fleet test of hybrid trucks by presenting ten Fuso Canter Eco Hybrids to eight customers in London. The goals of the three-year test are to gain new insights into the use of 7.5-ton hybrid trucks by customers and to demonstrate the diesel-electric hybrid drive's high level of efficiency. The Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid could consume up to 15 percent less fuel than conventional diesel vehicles, and the hybrid truck's CO2 emissions are therefore decreased correspondingly as well.

"We are delighted that we found eight such renowned customers for Europe's largest customer test program," says Ian Jones, Managing Director Commercial Vehicles at Mercedes-Benz UK. "London has had a very high traffic density and therefore high emissions for many years now. The Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid truck will let us show that transport services can be more environmentally friendly in urban traffic."

The ten Fuso Canter Eco Hybrids were presented to the eight customers (Amey, DHL, Hill Hire, Ringway, Royal Mail, Scottish and Southern, Tesco, and TNT) in the heart of London. In selecting the partners for the test, Daimler made sure that the fleet test would cover a wide range of different customer requirements with regard to commercial vehicles. For example, while trucks used by logistics companies like DHL, Royal Mail, and TNT for package deliveries are often caught in stop-and-go traffic and frequently have to stop to unload cargo, trucks operated by the retail chain Tesco are used on regular runs between supermarkets and the central warehouse. The Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid will document its fuel-saving potential in both of these user scenarios.

"Mitsubishi Fuso offers the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid in Japan since 2006, and hits the growing interest of costumers in Europe," says Alexander Müller, head of Sales and Marketing at Mitsubishi Fuso Europe. "However, for many customers the relatively high cost of a hybrid is an obstacle to actually purchasing one. Together with its partners, Daimler is investing in this pilot project in order to find out how economical the hybrid is for customers in comparison with conventional drive systems and to optimize product development with regard to customers requirements".

The vehicles used in Europe's largest hybrid truck fleet test were manufactured by Daimlers subsidiary Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) as a small batch and combine two different technologies: hybrid components, e.g. electric motor, and the Euro 4 powertrain of the series-produced 7.5-ton Fuso Canter. This combination is especially tailored to the needs of the European market, as it meets the EU emissions standard Euro 4.

To allow customers to begin using their Fuso Canter Eco Hybrids immediately, all of the vehicles were fully labeled and painted in the respective company colors. Two specialized Mercedes-Benz service centers are located in the London metropolitan area to support customers in the ongoing operation of the hybrid trucks. In fall of 2008, specialists at Daimler will equip all of the ten Fuso Canter Eco Hybrids with a new measuring system.

The fleet test of the Fuso Canter Hybrid in London is another important milestone in Daimler's "Shaping Future Transportation" initiative. Launched in November 2007, the initiative aims to use clean, efficient drive systems and alternative fuels to make emission-free commercial vehicles a reality in the future.

Daimler is the global market leader when it comes to commercial vehicles with hybrid drives. More than 1,500 Orion hybrid buses have been delivered to customers in the U.S. and in Canada, and further 1,100 are on order. In addition, 160 Freightliner hybrid trucks have gone into operation, and 200 further vehicles will be delivered to UPS beginning in 2009. Altogether, Freightliner will put more than 1,500 medium-duty hybrid trucks on the road over the next three years. Moreover, a total of 300 Fuso Canter Eco Hybrids have been delivered to customers since 2006. In addition, Mitsubishi Fuso also offers the Fuso Aero Star Eco Hybrid route bus in Japan.

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