As we have predicted in an upcoming story in Transport & Trucking, Fuso’s recently launched eCanter electric truck will be taken up in the initial stages of its time on the Australian market, by the big image conscious fleets, desiring to be seen as taking a stance against emissions, and who have the resources to pay a premium and to install charging equipment.

That being the case, it was no surprise that Daimler Trucks has announced  that Australia Post will be the first customer for its eCanter in Australia.

The government owned postal service is the first local fleet to sign up for the eCanter and has initially agreed to take on 20 of the electric trucks,  continuing the electrification of its fleet, with the  first arrivals hitting Australian roads in October.

Australia Post is the largest operator of electric vehicles in Australia, with a fleet of more than 3000 electric vehicles currently in use, most of which are the new electric trikes being adopted for post delivery services replacing the Honda Postie bikes it has used for decades.

“With the significant growth in parcel volumes, more vehicles are required in our network,” said James Dixon, general manager, networks for Australia Post.

“It makes good sense to add electric vehicles as part of this requirement. Not only will these eCanters fit our needs in this delivery category, but they will also contribute to our science based target to reduce emissions by 15 per cent by 2025 from a FY19 baseline,” James Dixon added.

according to the media release from Daimler, the eCanters will operate across the Australia Post and StarTrack businesses in major capitals in two body configurations and will be supported by the Daimler Trucks network.

“Since working with Daimler Trucks on the pre-production eCanter, we have been keen to have the truck in our fleet. Daimler Trucks is a good choice for Australia Post in the fleet space with a large network and focus on safety,” concluded James Dixon.

The eCanter is equipped with advanced pedestrian-sensing emergency braking technology, a collision mitigation system, lane departure warning and Electronic Stability Program for optimum safety.

Daimler Truck and Bus president and CEO, Daniel Whitehead, said Australia Post is the perfect first Australian customer for the eCanter.

“Daimler is thrilled to partner with such an iconic brand as Australia Post on a journey towards carbon neutral freight transportation in Australia,” Whitehead said.

“The Fuso eCanter’s active safety features, zero local emissions and near-silent operation make it perfect for parcel and letter deliveries in the city and the suburbs,” he added.

Fuso Truck and Bus Australia Director, Alex Müller, applauded Australia Post for its electric mobility leadership.

“Australia Post is setting a great example with deployment of the eCanter, demonstrating that you can get the job done in a sustainable way,” Müller said.

“The eCanter is a vital proposition for any company that is serious about reducing emissions,” Müller added.

The eCanter uses six liquid-cooled lithium ion batteries mounted in its frame to store 82.8kW/h of electricity and feed a permanent magnet synchronous motor. Power output is rated at 135kW and 390Nm of torque can be delivered the moment the accelerator pedal is pressed.

The eCanter, which has a Gross Vehicle Mass of 7.5 tonnes, became the world’s first small series electric production truck in 2017.

It has been the subject of a rigorous testing regime around the world, including a six-month Australian test running with a maximum load, in addition to real world driving in overseas markets.