Fuso has announced it has plugged into the electric truck revolution by announcing at the Tokyo Motor Show that it has strengthened its commitment to alternative drivetrains.

Fuso announced it will electrify its complete range of trucks and buses in coming years and used the show to unveil a new brand channel, E-FUSO and declared itself the first OEM to launch a product brand exclusively dedicated to electric mobility of trucks and buses, some would say stealing a march on Tesla, which has encountered numerous delays on the path to launching its first electric truck.

To underline the Fuso commitment and as proof of the strategic move, the company gave the E-FUSO Vision One its global debut. E-FUSO Vision One is an all-electric heavy-duty concept with a range of up to 350 kilometres.

Fuso says the Vision One marks the top end of the electrification path for the company’s portfolio in the upcoming years. It added that the initiative will be backed by access to Daimler’s know-how in battery and charging technology which it believes will make E-FUSO the frontrunner in electric trucking.

President and CEO of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation and Head of Daimler Trucks Asia, Marc Llistosella fronted the media unveiling of E-FUSO and was enthusiastic in his excitement for the electric vision.

“Our E-FUSO Vision One is an outlook on a feasible all-electric heavy-duty truck. It underlines our commitment to electrify our complete product range. FUSO has been a pioneer in the electrification of trucks for many years. Just one month ago we launched our eCanter, the first serial-produced, all-electric light duty truck. In the future, all our electrified vehicles will run under the name of E-FUSO, our new product brand dedicated exclusively to electric trucks and buses.” Llistosella said.

“With the eCanter, we have proven electric trucks are feasible for commercialisation. Today, our eCanter saves up to 1000 Euros in running costs per 10.000 km and with the rapidly evolving battery technology, we will continue to develop electric trucks and buses that will have a positive environmental and economic impact on society,” he added.

The E-FUSO Vision One unveiled at the show boasts a GVW of about 20.8 tonnes and a payload of approx. 10 tonnes, only two tonnes less than its diesel counterpart.

Fuso says it can be fitted with batteries up to 300-kilowatt hours, enabling a range of up to 350 km on a single charge.

Fuso says that while the electrification of long-haul trucks still needs considerable time, it says a potential application for the Vision One will be regional intra-city distribution.

The company says that growing customer interest, infrastructure development and regulatory efforts are likely to spur the electrification of road transport and on that basis a possible market entry for a production version of the E-FUSO Vision One could be possible within four years in mature markets like Japan or Europe, no word on how long it will take for it to reach our shores.

Fuso says its commitment goes beyond the development of the heavy-duty truck, stating that all its truck and bus models will include an additional electric powertrain alternative in the future and that the timing of each model will be defined by the required technology and feasibility.

In addition to the E-FUSO Vision One, Fuso also showcased its eCanter, the world’s first series-production all-electric light-duty truck, which was launched in New York City recently.

Fuso says the development of the eCanter and the intensive customer testing that went into enabled it to gain valuable experience in electric trucks, which will help it to bring the electric heavy-duty model to the road within the next four years.

The eCanter has a GVW of 6.8 tonnes and a range of 100-120 km on a single charge and Fuso says it has also proven commercial benefits with operational savings of up to 1,000 Euros per 10,000 kilometres.

The company marked the Tokyo Motor Show event by handing over the first eCanters to customers in Japan including the convenience store giant Seven-Eleven, and Japan’s largest delivery-logistics provider Yamato. It says customers in the USA include United Parcel Service (UPS), and several NGOs, including Habitat for Humanity, Wildlife Conservation Society, and The New York Botanical Garden.

Fuso has drawn on technology from within the Daimler group, with Deutsche Accumotive providing the batteries for E-FUSO trucks, while Mercedes-Benz Energy – a specialist in stationary energy storage systems is enabling it to offer opportunities for a second lifecycle of the batteries.

Daimler also has a stake in Chargepoint, the world’s largest provider of charging stations and infrastructure, as well as in StoreDot – an Israeli start-up developing a new fast-charging battery technology, especially interesting for applications in electric trucks with its high charging volumes.