Daimler Trucks' Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus (MFTBC) has launched the Fuso eCanter in New York City and announced a deal with UPS.

It's the world's first series-produced all-electric light-duty truck and will be delivered to customers starting this year in the US, Europe and Japan.

The vehicles are built in Portugal where production started recently. MFTBC plans to deliver 500 units of this generation to customers within the next two years. Larger scale production is intended to start in 2019.

Marc Llistosella, president and CEO of MFTBC and head of Daimler Trucks Asia said: "In times, when everybody is talking about electric trucks, we are the first to actually commercialise a series produced, all electric truck.

"Our new eCanter now addresses the increasing global demand for products to meet and exceed high CO2 emission standards. It offers an attractive and cost-effective alternative to combustion engines and makes electric trucks key to the future of inner city distribution."

Fuso also announced the company's first US commercial partner for the eCanter: UPS will use the trucks with an eye to moving their fleet toward being more sustainable.

Carlton Rose, UPS president, global fleet maintenance & engineering, said: "Electric trucks make our fleet both cleaner and quieter, adding to our already more than 8,500 alternative drivetrain vehicles in service today. We have a long standing, global relationship with Daimler and we welcome the opportunity to trial the eCanter as we continue to realise the benefits of electric trucks."

Fuso also will supply a fleet of the electric trucks to New York based not for profits, including: Wildlife Conservation Society, New York Botanical Garden, Habitat for Humanity New York City, and Big Reuse Brooklyn.

The truck has a range of 100km (60 miles)  and a load capacity up to three and a half tons – depending on body and usage. The powertrain contains six high voltage lithium ion battery packs with 420 V and 13.8 kWh each. In comparison with a conventional diesel truck, it offers claimed savings up to EUR1,000 per 10,000km (6,000 miles) on operating costs.