The eight electric trucks were trialled on different jobs by multiple users including cities and transport companies

The eight electric trucks were trialled on different jobs by multiple users including cities and transport companies

Trials of Daimler's Fuso battery electric, zero emission trucks have been completed in a research project co-funded by the Portuguese government through IAPMEI, the Public Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation.

First findings from the trials were that the eight vehicles were adequate for everyday use in short range delivery and inner city transportation. The trucks achieved a range of more than 100km (60 miles), exceeding the average distance many short-radius distribution trucks usually travel per day.

The Canter E-Cell trucks achieved payloads of two tonnes, an amount necessary for customers to operate their fleets efficiently. At the same time, preliminary analysis pointed to cost savings of about EUR1,000 (US$1,120) per 10,000km compared to conventional diesel trucks.

The capabilities of these electric light duty trucks were put to the test under a wide range of conditions. Lisbon city used the model for horticultural and waste disposal purposes, Porto as a means of collecting recyclable waste, Sintra in forest maintenance, Abrantes and Cascais also for horticulture.

The company Transporta used the vehicle for house to house deliveries as part of its short-radius distribution service, energy supplier REN for transport purposes within industrial gas storage facilities located in Sines and Pombal. And lastly, the EV helped Portuguese national postal service CTT with transport runs between its distribution centres in Lisbon and Coimbra.

The trucks were produced at the Tramagal plant, about 150km northeast of Lisbon. The plant also assembles the Canter Eco Hybrid, the hybrid version of the truck.

Tramagal is part of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation, Daimler’s biggest subsidiary in Japan.

Marc Llistosella, president and CEO of MFTBC and head of Daimler Trucks Asia, said: "The E-Cell project is a great example of innovation and collaboration between the Portuguese government, its agencies, Mitsubishi Fuso and Daimler Trucks. The vehicle underlines our commitment to thinking ahead and developing sustainable and reliable transportation solutions to the benefit of our customers and society as a whole.

"The results of the trials prove that we are on the right track. The customers in the test trial experienced the Canter E-Cell as an efficient and reliable concept fully meeting the demands of urban delivery transport."