Mitsubishi Fuso is moving full speed ahead in the hybrid truck market. The Japanese truck maker that is 85 percent owned by Daimler recently made the first deliveries of its Canter EcoHybrid in Europe and is also developing more advanced hybrid and full electric trucks. The Dublin, Ireland-based utility Electric Supply Board has purchased 10 of the hybrid trucks for service use. Another ten trucks are headed for Australian customers soon. The two orders are the first for the truck outside of the Japanese market since its debut in July 2006.

Earlier this year, Daimler declared that Mitsubishi Fuso would be its global center for developing truck based hybrid systems. With that in mind, Fuso has struck a deal with South Korea's SK Energy for a supply of lithium ion batteries. The new advanced batteries would be used in a next-generation hybrid product expected to appear in about two years.

[Source: Reuters, Daimler]

Fuso delivers Series-production Hybrid Trucks to Europe For the First Time

Irish energy company ESB orders ten Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid light trucks from Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corporation (MFTBC)
10 more orders from Australia
Hybrid version of Fuso Canter also a success outside of Japan
MFTBC expands its hybrid trucks business into targeted export markets starting in 2010

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corporation (MFTBC) has sold ten hybrid trucks to an Irish company. The Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid is the first series-production hybrid truck to be sold in Europe. The customer is Ireland's leading utility company, the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) in Dublin. ESB plans to use the vehicles for customer service and for infrastructure maintenance in Ireland. The Irish Government has granted a special permit for the Japanese hybrid trucks.

With the order from Ireland and another order from Australia, also for ten Fuso Canter Eco Hybrids, MFTBC is for the first time delivering a Fuso hybrid truck to customers outside of Japan. MFTBC is planning to expand its hybrid trucks business into targeted export markets starting in 2010."Building on the success of the Canter Eco Hybrid in Japan, we at Mitsubishi Fuso are clearly pursuing opportunities worldwide," said Dr. Albert Kirchmann, MFTBC President and CEO. "As the Global Hybrid Center of Daimler Trucks, Mitsubishi Fuso is committed to developing and implementing clean hybrid commercial vehicles. The orders from Ireland and Australia show how strong demand is for these vehicles."

MFTBC has been marketing the Fuso Canter hybrid truck on its home market since its market launch in July 2006. More than 600 Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid trucks have been sold in Japan to date. The Canter Eco Hybrid light truck features a parallel hybrid system and significantly reduces fuel consumption and emissions.

While the Fuso hybrid trucks are currently showing what they can do in a fleet test in the United Kingdom, the new orders from Ireland and Australia represent the first orders from customers outside of Japan. The truck will be used not only by energy utilities, but also in other sectors including parcel and freight delivery and the food and beverages industry.

"We are proud to bring a vehicle with low emissions, great fuel efficiency and impressive reliability to the global market.This is an important first step in our efforts to strengthen hybrid truck sales, and in 2010 we also will further expand this business into targeted markets outside Japan," says Kai-Uwe Seidenfuß, MFTBC Vice President of Sales & Service International.

This first order from customers outside of Japan for hybrid vehicles clearly indicates the positive development of MFTBC's hybrid business. The one-year anniversary of the Global Hybrid Center (GHC) and the market launch of the new, enhanced Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid were further important milestones in 2009. Located at the company headquarters in Kawasaki , Japan , the GHC serves as the worldwide platform for the development of hybrid vehicles for Daimler Trucks.

MFTBC's involvement in hybrid development is part of Daimler's Shaping Future Transportation initiative, which aims to achieve a major reduction in fuel consumption and exhaust emissions of commercial vehicles. Shaping Future Transportation comprises work on alternative drive systems for various commercial vehicle brands. Hybrid technology plays a key role in these vehicles, as it can reduce diesel consumption by up to 30 percent, depending on the application.

Based in Kawasaki, Japan, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) is one of Asia's leading commercial vehicle manufacturers. In 2008, the company sold a total of about 197,700 vehicles including light, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses.Daimler AG owns 85 percent of MFTBC shares. MFTBC is an integral part of the Daimler Trucks Division of Daimler AG.

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