Aaron Marsh/Fleet Owner
Jecka Glasman, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc., said the company believes moving to trucks like the fully electric medium duty showcased at NTEA's Work Truck Show 'is the future.'

Could Mitsubishi Fuso's all-electric medium duty blaze trails in U.S. trucking?

March 3, 2016
A fully electric medium-duty cabover truck based on one Mitsubishi Fuso group developed in Japan and tested in Portugal made a cameo on American shores — and the company says it believes "it is the future."

INDIANAPOLIS. A fully electric medium-duty cabover truck based on one Mitsubishi Fuso group developed in Japan and tested in Portugal made a cameo on American shores — and the company says it believes "it is the future."

The truck was showcased at a press conference at the NTEA Work Truck Show. "It was tested by fleet customers for a year and accumulated over 500,000 km with very successful results," said Jecka Glasman, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc.

Mitsubishi Fuso showcased this all-electric medium-duty truck on Wednesday, March 2 - click to enlarge. (Aaron Marsh/Fleet Owner)

Bill Lyons, the company's vice president of sales operations, explained that eight test trucks were used in situations like landscaping and package delivery and one municipally by the city of Lisbon, Portugal. "These trucks are based on the same one we sell in North America right now, the FE130, and there are some adjustments made for the electric motor," he said.

The truck "would do very well where you have a lot of tight urban operations like in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia and those kinds of cities," Lyons said.

The all-electric truck on display can go about 62 mi./100 km hauling more than 4,400 lbs. on a full charge and takes around seven hours to charge on a 220-volt outlet or less than an hour at special quick-charge stations. Its engine is rated at 150 hp and 479 lbs.-ft. of torque. It also recharges its battery bank as it's driven, helping to extend available range between recharges.

Mitsubishi Fuso's Chris Burdett discussed the all-electric truck's performance - click to enlarge. (Aaron Marsh/Fleet Owner)

The test trucks were fitted with dry van and flatbed bodies, explained Chris Burdett, product engineer for Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. in Japan. During the testing, the electric trucks cost fleets 64% less to run than their diesel-powered equivalents based on fuel prices in the European locations where they were operated.

They also have zero emissions, being electric, and deliver a 37% reduction in CO2 emissions overall after accounting for emissions generated by the power plants that produced the electricity to power them.

"It's perfect for the inner-city, urban-driving application," Burdett told Fleet Owner. "There's lots of parcel delivery services in Japan, and we'd like to take that model and move it to other countries as well. With an electric vehicle, we can remove all those emissions from inner cities.

A look from the rear of the Mitsubishi Fuso all-electric medium-duty truck - click to enlarge. (Aaron Marsh/Fleet Owner)

"Clean air for everyone, I think, is a great goal to have," he added.

"Alternative power vehicles are claiming their place in the commercial truck world," Lyons noted at the press event. "I'm sure you're aware of the pressure of ever-tighter emissions regulations, we're just a year away from the [Environmental Protection Agency's] 2017 greenhouse gas emissions regulations, and like us, all the manufacturers are trying to get to [compliance with] those regulations."

About the Author

Aaron Marsh

Before computerization had fully taken hold and automotive work took someone who speaks engine, Aaron grew up in Upstate New York taking cars apart and fixing and rewiring them, keeping more than a few great jalopies (classics) on the road that probably didn't deserve to be. He spent a decade inside the Beltway covering Congress and the intricacies of the health care system before a stint in local New England news, picking up awards for both pen and camera.

He wrote about you-name-it, from transportation and law and the courts to events of all kinds and telecommunications, and landed in trucking when he joined FleetOwner in July 2015. Long an editorial leader, he was a keeper of knowledge at FleetOwner ready to dive in on the technical and the topical inside and all-around trucking—and still turned a wrench or two. Or three. 

Aaron previously wrote for FleetOwner. 

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