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Mercedes-Benz has high hopes for hybrid Canter

  • 12 December 2012
  • By Will Shiers

Mercedes-Benz hopes to sell 100 Fuso Canter Eco Hybrids in the UK over the next 12 months, and expects customers to see a 23% improvement in fuel economy and achieve a payback in just over four years.

Speaking to over 100 specially-selected UK operators at the launch of what it is calling “the first financially-viable hybrid truck”, truck sales and marketing director Sam Whittaker revealed details of an extensive UK trial that has just concluded.

Over a three-year period 10 Canter Eco Hybrid 7C15s were operated in London by a range of parcels and utility companies including TNT, DHL and Scottish and Southern. The trucks were monitored for 335,000kms, during which time they averaged 12.7mph and consumed 52,651 litres of diesel. The average fuel consumption was 18mpg, and the best was 20.3mpg. Whittaker explained that this equated to an average improvement in fuel economy of 10.7%, with the best vehicle achieving 16.2%. He claimed these figures would have been improved by a further 5.7% if the vehicles had been fitted with anti-idling technology (as all production trucks are).

Further gains are expected to be made by recent developments to the design, including the addition of the Duonic automatic transmission. He is confident that together these improvements will result in a further boost to fuel economy, and that if used in the correct application, the Canter Eco Hybrid will be 23% more fuel-efficient than an equivalent diesel-powered Canter. According to his sums, at this rate the £7,200 additional cost of the Hybrid can be recouped in 4.12 years. He says immediate savings can be made if customers opt for the 60-month contract hire deal.

“You won’t run these purely as a green statement,” he said. “You will run them because they will save you money.”

Gulliver’s Truck Hire national business development manager Barry Fulls was one of several operators we spoke to at the event who was impressed with the overall package. The company already runs a number of conventional Canters, and expects to experience a demand for the hybrid version too. “I think it will prove popular with local authorities and customers operating in urban areas,” he said.

BOX: Fact File

Model: Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid 7C15

Price premium over diesel equivalent: £7,200

Diesel Engine: 3-litre turbocharged 150hp, and 370Nm at 1320 – 2840rpm

Electric motor: 40kW and 200Nm from start-up

Batteries: Lithium-ion, 7.5Ah

Transmission: Duonic six-speed dual-clutch

Payload penalty over diesel equivalent: 170kg

Battery life: 10-year guarantee

Built in: Portugal


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