Mumbai: Daimler AG has launched Europe's largest fleet of hybrid test trucks in London. The fleet comprising ten Fuso Canter Eco Hybrids has been given to eight customers as part of a three-year test plan to gain valuable insights about the 7.5-ton hybrid trucks. The programme will also demonstrate the diesel-electric hybrid drive's high level of efficiency.
The Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid consumes up to 15 per cent less fuel than conventional diesel vehicles, which result in less amount of CO2 emissions through the hybrid's tailpipe.
The ten Fuso Canter Eco Hybrids were presented to the eight customers - Amey, DHL, Hill Hire, Ringway, Royal Mail, Scottish and Southern, Tesco, and TNT in London. In selecting the partners for the test, Daimler made sure that the fleet test would cover a wide range of different customer requirements with regard to commercial vehicles.
For example, while trucks used by logistics companies like DHL, Royal Mail, and TNT for package deliveries are often caught in stop-and-go traffic and frequently have to stop to unload cargo, trucks operated by the retail chain Tesco are used on regular runs between supermarkets and the central warehouse. The Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid will document its fuel-saving potential in both of these user scenarios.
The small batch of test hybrid truck fleet is manufactured by Daimlers subsidiary Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC). The hybrid combines two different technologies: hybrid components such as electric motor, and the Euro 4 powertrain of the series-produced 7.5-ton Fuso Canter. This combination is ideal for the European market, as it meets the EU emissions standard Euro 4.
All Fuso Canter Eco Hybrids are fully labeled and painted for the customers in the respective company colours. Two specialised Mercedes-Benz service centres are located in the London metropolitan area to support customers in the ongoing operation of the hybrid trucks. Later this year, specialists at Daimler will equip all of the tenhybrids with a new measuring system.
''We are delighted that we found eight such renowned customers for Europe's largest customer test program,'' says Ian Jones, managing director commercial vehicles at Mercedes-Benz UK. ''London has had a very high traffic density and therefore high emissions for many years now. The Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid truck will let us show that transport services can be more environmentally friendly in urban traffic.''
The fleet test of the Fuso Canter Hybrid in London is another important milestone in Daimler's ''Shaping Future Transportation'' initiative. Launched in November 2007, the initiative aims to use clean, efficient drive systems and alternative fuels to make emission-free commercial vehicles a reality in the future.
View: Auto videos | Auto picture galleries