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Feature Article

FUSO celebrates the arrival of six eCanter trucks

After five years of preparation in New Zealand and more than three million kilometres of road testing internationally, FUSO is thrilled to announce the arrival of six of the world’s first series-produced fully electric light trucks with integrated safety features in Auckland. 

The arrival of FUSO’s eCanter trucks marks the first tangible milestone of an approved electric truck trial for inner city deliveries – the eCanter ZEA Auckland City Project. This is the largest electric truck trial to date held in New Zealand having successfully secured co-funding through the Government’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, which is administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

The one-year trial will officially start around July 2021 in Auckland central city. FUSO, in partnership with EROAD, has collaborated with major fleet operators Mainfreight, Bidfood, Toll Group, Owens Transport and Vector OnGas. The operators will use the FUSO eCanter trucks for inner-city delivery routes working with their customers and drivers to optimise the potential of their trucks, develop insights into optimum scheduling and vehicle capacity, and to identify solutions to any unanticipated barriers to electric truck operation in the proposed Zero Emissions Area (ZEA).

Kathy Schluter, FUSO GM of Sales and Customer Experience, says she is proud to be collaborating with a such a wide variety of credible, future-thinking brands, and is hopeful that the ZEA trial will form a benchmark for other businesses who may be considering a transition to sustainable vehicle fleets.

“The arrival of our breakthrough eCanter trucks to Auckland is a momentous and hugely significant milestone for New Zealand transport. FUSO’s commitment to the delivery of electric trucks in New Zealand will amplify our country’s renewable electricity advantage, and accelerate the need to decarbonise vehicle fleets to deliver on the Government’s climate change goals.

“Nimble, quiet and environmentally friendly, the trucks are specifically made for the city environment. We are delighted to team up with our major clients to learn and lead together to deliver a sustainable future for our country,” says Schluter.

EECA’s Transport Portfolio Manager, Richard Briggs, says: “The high-density urban environment the trucks will operate in will be a robust test ground. The trial will demonstrate how these trucks perform, and reveal associated lower costs, such as expected reduced maintenance and servicing. Importantly, the project will give an insight into how participating businesses will operate their trucks considering the different work profiles for each vehicle, scheduling runs around the need to charge, and the behavioural aspects of going electric.”

 

Auckland Transport has been an essential endorser of FUSO’s contribution to the ZEA trial. Shane Ellison, Chief Executive, says he is confident that the learnings obtained from operating FUSO eCanters in the area will help to fast track the Auckland City Centre Masterplan, which sets out to address the city centre's air pollution problem by reducing Internal Combustion Engine vehicles.

“Auckland Transport has a vision of a low-emissions transport network and Fuso’s e-Canter trial project has real potential to contribute to this goal. We are thrilled to support this exciting trial."

The trial will provide evidence to support the Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi business cases, legislative change and policy implementation planning required for Auckland to successfully implement the ZEA, not to mention provide confidence to freight operators that they can, and should, continue their businesses with electric trucks,” says Ellison.

While the cornerstone of the new FUSO eCanter is sustainability, it also provides major protection to drivers and other road users with advanced safety features such as Active Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning and Electronic Stability Control.

Click here to discover more about eCanter!

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