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Mitsubishi Fuso Launches Cleanest Light Truck in the World

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Mitsubishi Fuso Launches Cleanest Light Truck in the World

  • Canter Eco Hybrid features top fuel efficiency and will be the first light-duty truck to meet Japan’s stringent, new long term emissions regulations

  • Comprehensive concept Ecology/Economy/Easy Drive combining benefits for both customers and society

  • DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche: “The Canter Eco Hybrid marks a milestone for the global truck industry. Customers and the environment will both benefit from this technological advance”

Tokyo, Jul 05, 2006
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corporation (MFTBC), the Asian pillar of DaimlerChrysler’s Truck Group, today launched a pioneering hybrid electric commercial vehicle for the Japan market. The new Canter Eco Hybrid light-duty truck significantly reduces fuel consumption and emissions, while providing easy operation on the job. The Canter Eco Hybrid features the best environmental performance of any commercially-available light truck in the world, and is the first light-duty truck to comply with Japan’s stringent, in August 2007 upcoming ‘long term emissions regulations.’ According to company data, it also has the best fuel efficiency of any Japanese brand of hybrid electric commercial vehicle.

The vehicle was introduced today at ceremonies in Tokyo attended by DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche, Head of the DaimlerChrysler Truck Group Andreas Renschler, MFTBC President & CEO Harald Boelstler, MFTBC Chairman Keisuke Egashira, customers, dealers, press and guests.

DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche said, “The Canter Eco Hybrid marks a milestone for the global truck industry. Customers and the environment will both benefit from this technological advance. Our Asia truck pillar Mitsubishi Fuso is delivering a vehicle that advances our quest for environmental sustainability and customer value, and further positions DaimlerChrysler as a world leader in commercial truck technology.”

DaimlerChrysler Truck Group Head Andreas Renschler explained “Mitsubishi Fuso’s strategic role within our Truck Group is well-defined and includes the company’s role as the global competence center for hybrid technology. The new Canter Eco Hybrid is perfect proof of the strength of Fuso in this area which benefits our entire Truck Group.”

MFTBC CEO Harald Boelstler stressed, “This vehicle shows our full commitment to the environment, our customers and the society in general. Mitsubishi Fuso employees are very proud on the Canter Eco Hybrid, which will help make the world a little better.”

As the DaimlerChrysler Truck Group’s hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) center, Mitsubishi Fuso is charged with developing advanced hybrid technologies, including systems which will extend worldwide in the future.

The new Canter Eco Hybrid joins another Mitsubishi Fuso hybrid vehicle already in commercial production and strengthens MFTBC’s leadership role in this technology segment. In 2004, Mitsubishi Fuso launched the Aero Nonstep HEV bus, a 68-passenger city bus with hybrid drive. The bus is now in operation by customers in Shizuoka, Aichi and Gifu, Japan.

Today, the company is taking another step forward by introducing hybrid technology into its core Canter light-duty truck line.

Mitsubishi Fuso is now beginning customer deliveries of the Canter Eco Hybrid in Japan. Mitsubishi Fuso expects to sell several hundred Canter Eco Hybrids by the end of 2006, with the number increasing in the coming years. The new Canter Eco Hybrid, weighing 2.83 – 2.87 tons with payload capacity from 2.0 – 3.0 tons, is expected to find numerous applications in city delivery, refuse pickup and other in- dustries.

Mitsubishi Fuso is first launching the Canter Eco Hybrid in Japan, while evaluating the product for international markets. The vehicle will be produced at the company’s Kawasaki Manufacturing Plant, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

The vehicle’s ecological benefits are proven by its significant reduction in emissions. It features a 41% reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) and 46% decrease in particulate matter (PM) versus conventionally-powered models. NOx and PM are the two main elements of commercial vehicle emissions regulated worldwide.

The key proof of the Canter Eco Hybrid ecological benefits is the fact that the vehicle already meets Japan’s new long term emissions regulations, due in August 2007. The Canter Eco Hybrid complies with the new rules – among the strictest in the world – over a year before the deadline and ahead of all other vehicles.

With the emissions data documented by MFTBC, and given the truck’s qualification for Japan’s stringent long term emission regulations – the Canter Eco Hybrid can be called “the cleanest light truck in the world.”

The Canter Eco Hybrid’s economy relates principally to its fuel efficiency. The hybrid diesel-electric drive installed in the vehicle delivers an up-to-20 percent increase in fuel efficiency over conventionally-powered models. The fuel savings are especially significant during stop-and-go, delivery driving.

The vehicle incorporates Mitsubishi Fuso’s advanced INOMAT-II transmission. An automated manual transmission, INOMAT-II requires no shifting or clutch pedal operation, making operation simple and efficient for drivers of all skill levels. Importantly, it can be driven with an automatic-only driver’s license. The simple operation of the INOMAT-II transmission also can lead to reduced driver fatigue, which can contribute to better safety.

The vehicle is also easy to drive because it requires no additional infrastructure for fueling. Unlike certain alternative fuel vehicles (e.g., compressed natural gas) which require a special arrangement for fuel-ing, the Canter Eco Hybrid runs on diesel and is fueled in the traditio-nal way everywhere diesel is available. Overall, the Ecology/Economy/Easy Drive concept of the Canter Eco Hybrid leads to an ideal balance of low emissions, low fuel consumption and ease of operation for driver and owner.

The Canter Eco Hybrid achieves Ecology/Economy/Easy Drive through state-of-the-art design and components. The core of the system is a newly-developed, small-displacement diesel engine. The 3-liter DOHC, 16-valve intercooled turbo-diesel engine generates 92kW at 3200 rpm and 294 N at 1,700 rpm. It incorporates new technologies like a new diesel particulate filter for trapping PMs and a high precision, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system for reducing NOx.

The central components of the hybrid system on the Canter Eco Hy-brid are this newly developed small-displacement diesel engine; plus an ultra-slim electric motor/generator (35 kW); a high performance Lithium(Li)-ion battery; and the INOMAT-II automated mechanical transmission. The Canter Eco Hybrid features a parallel hybrid system. That means power to drive the vehicle comes from the vehicle’s electric motor, the diesel engine or both. Fuel efficiency and emissions reduction are achieved by using them singly, or in combination with each other ac-cording to driving conditions.

The hybrid system switches its operational mode according to the driving situation. The electric motor is used to drive the vehicle when starting off. During hard acceleration, both the diesel engine and electric motor/generator power the vehicle. When cruising, the vehicle is driven by the diesel engine only, like a conventional vehicle. When slowing down or braking, the electric motor/generator functions as a generator to brake the vehicle. The generator converts brake energy into electric energy and stores it in the Lithium(Li)-ion battery for the next moving off or acceleration. The INOMAT-II transmission contributes to the process by proving smooth and efficient shifting during operations.

In addition to its benchmark emissions reduction and fuel economy, the Canter Eco Hybrid has other key features and benefits underscoring the Ecology/Economy/Easy Drive concept:

  • Unlike some hybrid systems for commercial vehicles, the pa- rallel system allows the vehicle to drive by electric motor only, thereby increasing fuel efficiency and reducing emissions.

  • Regeneration of braking energy is improved by disengaging the clutch during deceleration.
  • The Lithium-ion battery requires no periodic replacement.
  • The versatile INOMAT-II transmission also allows manual shift-ing by driver.
  • An Idling Stop & Start (ISS) system automatically turns off the engine when the transmission is shifted to N, saving fuel and reducing emissions. ISS can be turned on or off according to user preference.
  • An EZGO system, assists hill starts by keeping the brakes on, even after disengaging the brake pedal.
  • The Canter Eco Hybrid offers the same Power Take-Off capabil-ity as the conventional Canter model, and the same easy instal-lation for body builders.
The Canter Eco Hybrid was developed by a cross-functional Mitsubishi Fuso team using the Fuso Product Development (FPD) system. Based on the global standards of DaimlerChrysler, FPD is a method for man-aging the entire vehicle development process, from concept to launch. Products must pass through stringent quality validation “gates,” where they are evaluated by cross-functional teams. Only when the product meets all quality requirements it can move to the next stage of devel-opment. The advanced system ensures that products are launched on time with maximum assurance of quality. According to MFTBC Chairman Egashira, the Canter Eco Hybrid launch is yet another development in Mitsubishi Fuso’s strong forward momentum: “Mitsubishi Fuso is committed to environmental friendliness in all of our operations. This new vehicle and our other efforts shows MFTBC’s regard for society as we strive to be Number One for our customers and ‘the most reliable company’ for all our stakeholders.”

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corporation (MFTBC) is one of Asia’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers. In 2005, the company sold a total of 178,900 vehicles including light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses. In the international markets outside Japan MFTBC sold approximately 119,000 units (wholesale), a new international sales record for the company.

DaimlerChrysler AG owns 85 % of MFTBC shares. The remaining 15 % of shares are held by various Mitsubishi group companies. MFTBC is an integral part of DaimlerChrysler’s Truck Group.

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