At the Tokyo Motor Show today, Daimler’s Mitsubishi Fuso Truck division launched a new product brand entirely dedicated to electric trucks & buses.
As part of this new brand, the company unveiled a new all-electric heavy-duty concept truck at the show.
The new concept vehicle is called the E-FUSO Vision ONE.
Fuso says that it’s a Class 8 truck that has a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 23.26 tons and a payload of 11.11 tons, which is only 1.8 tons less than its diesel counterpart, and a range of up to 220 miles (350 km) with a single charge.
The truck maker claims that the range is enabled by a 300 kWh battery pack.
Daimler already released a smaller all-electric truck called the FUSO eCanter, which is meant for urban routes with a range of only 100 kilometers (62 miles) and a load capacity up to three and a half tons.
The E-FUSO Vision ONE would instead aim at enabling longer routes with bigger loads:
“The E-FUSO Vision One represents FUSO’s view on the near future of electric trucks, extending the usage beyond the urban city limits. This prototype illustrates the possibilities of extending the current usage of all-electric trucks from the inter-urban centers to highways. The technology addresses medium-duty today and is developing for tomorrow’s longer-haul semi, class 8 trucks.”
That’s an interesting move emphasizing Daimler’s commitment to electric trucks, which is especially important considering it is the biggest truck maker in the world across all its brands.
It’s not clear if they have a working prototype of the new Class 8. Daimler was offering test drives with the eCanter, but not the Vision ONE.
But that’s not even the most important missing piece of the puzzle. We know that Daimler can make an electric truck powertrain, but trucks are all about the economics.
It would have been nice to have some details on that front in order to estimate the cost per mile of operation, which is by far the most important thing for fleet operators and independent drivers.
Cummins, VW, and several others have also been developing electric trucks. Tesla was first supposed to unveil its own electric truck, Tesla Semi, this week, but it has been pushed to next month. It’s not clear which one is closest to production, but it would be interesting start seeing some real numbers.
Some analysts suggest that electric trucks could be 70% cheaper to operate than diesel-powered trucks.