INDIANAPOLIS. Mitsubishi Fuso announced it is developing a new gasoline powertrain for its FE Series medium-duty cabover trucks and launched its new electric truck, the eCanter, here at the 2017 NTEA Work Truck Show.

According to the company Fuso’s FE130, FE160 and FE180 will be powered by a PSI-GMPT Vortec Series 6-liter V8 engine, coupled with an Allison 6-speed automatic transmission. The new V8 engine models will be the first Fuso vehicles to be assembled in the U.S., noted Jecka Glasman, Fuso’s president and CEO.

The gas truck will be offered in Class 3 and 4, and as the industry’s only Class 5 gas-powered model, the company stated. Customer trials for the new FE Series gas trucks are scheduled to begin in fourth quarter 2017, with full market launch to follow in 2018 as 2019 model year.

“While the new VortecV8 represents a robust new powertrain for us, we are happy to report that we have adapted these drivetrains to our standard cab-chassis configurations – so customers and upfitters will find the same familiar 33.5-in. wide frame, same body attachment capability, wheelbases, cab-to-axle dimensions, and box sizes as they’ve enjoyed with our low-cost-of-ownership turbocharged diesel cabovers,” according to Otto Schmid, Fuso’s director of product management.

All-electric eCanter

During Fuso’s press conference on Wednesday, Glasman announced Fuso’s eCanter will be available for a soft launch by the end of the year in North America.

The eCanter is a 100% plug-in electric Class 4 work truck with a 15,995-lb. GVWR and a payload capacity of roughly 9,380 lbs. It ranges up to 100 miles, has a one-hour quick charge capability and a standard eight-hour overnight full charge.

“All current population studies note that people are moving back to the cities,” Glasman explained. “It is going to be busy and crowded, but goods still need to be delivered. What better way to deliver goods than with a truck with zero emissions and zero noise pollution.”

Asked whether low fuel prices would influence the company’s production of electric trucks, Schmid said: “In the cities we have complaints about noise and pollution so it doesn’t matter if fuel prices are higher or lower.”

Going forward, Glassman added that Fuso’s parent company, Daimler Trucks Asia, has invested in electrification, which she explained will drive most of future production.

Telogis telematics, collision avoidance

Fuso also announced it has partnered with Telogis, a Verizon Company, to install Telogis telematics systems as a standard on all medium-duty, diesel cabovers. Telogis telematics capabilities will be integrated on all of Fuso’s future Class 3 through 5 turbocharged diesel commercial trucks.

Fuso has also partnered with Mobileye to integrate its collision avoidance systems in their trucks.

“We learned that safety is one of the biggest concerns that our fleet customers have,” Glasman explained. “We put the Mobileye system in fleet trucks for a month in silent mode then put them in after a month with drivers and we saw harsh braking and other risky behaviors reduced by 50% after a month of having the system in trucks.”

Glasman added the Telogis system will provide fleet operators with improved safety, better logistics and more efficient operations.