Series production to start in Europe
- Hybrid drive saves up to 23 percent fuel in short-radius distribution
- High-performance batteries with long-life guarantee
- Batterycontainer can withstand a 50 km/h side impact
- Fully automated Duonic dual-clutch transmission
- New truck developed at Daimler Trucks’ Global Hybrid Centre in Japan
It’s the latest chapter in the success story of the Canter Eco Hybrid: production of the new model in Tramagal, Portugal and its launch on the European market are set to begin in the third quarter of 2012. This will make the Canter Eco Hybrid the first series-produced truck of its class to be manufactured in Europe. Sales of the new generation model have already begun in Japan.
The new Canter Eco Hybrid is based on experience acquired from around 1,200 predecessor models. Numerous refinements to the electric drive system, plus the Duonic dual-clutch transmission – which is unique in this class – have resulted in a vehicle which is even more economical and environmentally friendly.
Series production in Portugal to use existing process
With production of up to 300 units a year, the first generation Canter Eco Hybrid was in fact already a true series-production model. Now the Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) has set its sights even higher for the new model, as shown by adding Europe as a production base and extending the model range to include a left-hand-drive variant. The series production process in Portugal will be the one already used for the Canter.
Sales in the major western European markets will begin from the third quarter of 2012, with other countries to follow in succession. Service will be provided by the usual Mercedes-Benz and Fuso partners.
Hybrid drive saves up to 23 percent fuel in short-radius distribution
All the conditions for expanding sales are in place: the new Canter Eco Hybrid uses up to 23 percent less fuel than a comparable conventional Canter.
With the hybrid drive technology adding only relatively little to the vehicle’s cost, the Canter Eco Hybrid should pay off after only a few years of normal use. At the same time, the environment will benefit from a reduction in CO2emissions of several tons and significantly lower noise levels.
Enhanced high-efficiency hybrid drive
The Canter Eco Hybrid’s economy is based on its enhanced, high-efficiency hybrid drive technology. It has a parallel-hybrid architecture with the additional electric motor between the clutch and the gearbox. The system was developed by Daimler Trucks at their Global Hybrid Centre in Japan.
The conventional diesel-drive Canter contributes its state-of-the-art 4P10 turbocharged four-cylinder 3-litre diesel engine, which delivers 110 kW (150 hp) and a maximum torque of 370 Nm at 1320-2840 rpm. This engine has an exhaust gas recycling system and a particle filter.
The new Canter Eco Hybrid’s electric motor is a permanently excited synchronous motor with an output of 40 kW. Maximum torque is around 200 Nm. As is typical of electric motors, it is ready to provide maximum output immediately from start-up. The usable power band of the liquid-cooled motor is significantly greater than has previously been the case. With a width of 110 mm the electro-motor only constitutes a minor addition to the length of the drive train.
High-performance batteries with long-life guarantee
The motor draws its power from lithium-ion batteries, comprised of nine modules. The batteries are air-cooled and are housed in a tough container located on the left-hand side, between the axles. The batteries have a capacity of 7.5 Ah and only weigh 63.5 kg.
As well as being lightweight and having a high output, the lithium-ion batteries also have a long life. Fuso applies a five-year guarantee to all the main battery components, and it can even be optionally extended to 10 years. Each time the vehicle brakes, the batteries are charged by means of recuperation, a process which converts braking energy into electrical current.
The same holder which contains the batteries also houses the new, compact, liquid-cooled inverter. The DC-DC voltage converter is also integrated in the battery holder.
Battery container can withstand a 50 km/h side impact
As always, Daimler has made safety a top priority in the development of the new Canter Eco Hybrid. For example, in the event of an accident, the entire high-voltage system shuts down immediately thanks to a crash sensor. The driver can also shut the system down manually via the emergency off switch.
The drive system has undergone a large number of tests, including tests for vibrations, penetration by sharp objects, fire, and even the effect of contact with sea water. The battery container also came through the most dramatic of the tests unscathed: a head-on collision at 40 km/h and a severe side impact on the battery side of 50 km/h.
Fully automated Duonic dual-clutch transmission
The Canter Eco Hybrid’s power transmission is one of its outstanding technical features. The Duonic dual-clutch transmission is the first with this technology to be used in a truck anywhere in the world. The unit is based on a mechanical six-gear manual transmission with two hydraulic wet clutches and an electronic control system.
The great advantage of the dual-clutch system is that when driving, the next gear is already pre-engaged and can therefore be selected quickly and completely smoothly, with no loss of power flow. The Duonic dual-clutch transmission combines the convenience of an automatic with the efficiency of a mechanical manual transmission. The practical crawler function is also a useful feature when manoeuvring.
Electric motor for pulling away reduces fuel consumption and noise levels
The basic strategy behind the new Canter Eco Hybrid is the use of electric power alone when pulling away and the resultant reduction in noise. Once a speed of 10 km/h has been reached, the diesel engine switches in. It also runs in neutral to provide ancillary power to power take-offs.
Depending on the power demand, the electric motor also supports the diesel engine at higher speeds. A start-stop regulator switches the diesel engine off when the vehicle is stationary, also helping to cut fuel consumption and emissions.
Inside the cab of the Canter Eco Hybrid, the multifunction display provides the driver with an ongoing supply of information about the drive mode and battery charge level.
Huge payload even with hybrid drive
Not only is the Canter Eco Hybrid economical and environmentally friendly, it can also handle a heavy payload. The Canter is already renowned for its huge payload capacity, and that of the hybrid Canter is surprisingly high, as the hybrid drive only adds around 150 kg to the vehicle’s weight.
In Europe the Canter Eco Hybrid is supplied at a gross vehicle weight rating of 7.5 t, with the chassis having a load-bearing capacity of up to 4,845 kg, which puts even most conventional-drive trucks in this weight category in the shade.
Just like the conventional Canter, it has a sturdy ladder-type frame with hole pattern throughout, as well as various bodybuilder and power take-off unit interfaces, making it eminently suitable for use with all types of body.
The Canter Eco Hybrid benefits from enhancement
The new Canter Eco Hybrid benefits in general from the many enhancements enjoyed by the new generation of lightweight trucks. This goes for the Duonic dual-clutch transmission and the new generation of diesel engines featuring exhaust treatment by means of a particle filter. It also applies to the cab, which has been revamped with high-quality materials, a new system of stowage compartments, an even more efficient heating and ventilation system, and effective corrosion prevention afforded by cathodic dip-painting the cab and powder coating the frame.
The Canter Eco Hybrid can also be equipped with the expected wide range of optional equipment. These include air-conditioning and airbags as well as power take-offs for a large number of body types.
New truck developed at Daimler Trucks’ Global Hybrid Centre in Japan
Fuso can look back over a long and diverse history of developing hybrid drive systems. In 1994 the company manufactured its first hybrid bus. Ten years later came the second generation of city buses with hybrid drives. The Canter Eco Hybrid has been in series production since 2006, with around 1200 first-generation vehicles produced in five years. Ten Canter Eco Hybrid trucks underwent fleet trials in London from 2008 to 2011, causing quite a stir. In those three years they covered a total of around half a million kilometres. Findings from those trials have been used to help develop the new model being presented now.
The huge technical expertise at MFTBC is the reason that the Daimler Trucks’ Global Hybrid Centre in Japan was also located there. From there, the work on hybrids for all truck brands within the Daimler Group is controlled and co-ordinated.
The new Canter Eco Hybrid is not the only testament to the level of commitment to the development of hybrid drive systems at MFTBC: Fuso is also sounding out the potential for the use of alternative drives in long-distance haulage, with a heavy-duty hybrid truck from their Super Great model range.