Japan’s Mitsubishi Fuso launches new eCanter electric truck in Hong Kong as part of sustainable transport push

Japan’s Mitsubishi Fuso launches new eCanter electric truck in Hong Kong as part of sustainable transport push

Japan’s Mitsubishi Fuso launches new eCanter electric truck in Hong Kong as part of sustainable transport push

Japanese commercial vehicle manufacturer Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation and its distributor, Universal Cars Limited, have launched a new electric truck in Hong Kong as part of a green mobility push to drive sustainable transport in the city.

The launch of the new-generation eCanter light-duty electric truck is the commercial vehicle’s first release in the Asian market outside Japan, showing Mitsubishi Fuso’s strong commitment to the electric truck market in the city, Kyu-Sang Cho, vice-president of Daimler Commercial Vehicles Southeast Asia, said at an unveiling ceremony last week. Daimler is the majority shareholder of Mitsubishi Fuso.

“Worldwide, the transport sector generates about 90 per cent of global carbon-dioxide emissions, and trucks are responsible for 42 per cent [of that share],” Cho said.

“We can make a significant impact on our environment and pave the way for achieving sustainable transformation with electric vehicle [EV] products such as the eCanter.”

The eCanter was developed by Mitsubishi Fuso as a solution to urban environmental issues such as noise, exhaust gas and carbon-dioxide emissions, according to its website.

As the electric truck is emission-free and produces less noise and vibrations compared with conventional diesel-powered vehicles, it is particularly suited to inner-city routes as well as operations during late night and early morning hours, according to Mitsubishi Fuso.

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For a successful transformation into a sustainable transport option, several factors will have to be met, Cho said.

“We cannot achieve sustainable transport only with the product, we also need cost-parity, charging infrastructure and also a network to provide aftersales services,” he said. “If any one of these multiplicators is missing, then we will not get there.”

Universal Cars, the sole agent of Mitsubishi automobiles in Hong Kong, will offer a total of seven models of the eCanter, with three battery capacities and six wheelbase options, at prices ranging from HK$600,000 (US$76,746) to HK$880,000, said Ernest Wong Sai-kit, the distributor’s general manager.

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“This year, our initial [sales] target is 20 to 50 units, because there are still some hurdles when we promote e-trucks in Hong Kong,” he said.

“E-trucks are not like [conventional] EVs. First of all, we cannot enter into their readily available charging facilities in Hong Kong, so most of the customers need to set up their own charging facilities.

“Our trucks cannot go into public car parks because of the height. This is the biggest challenge for promoting e-trucks in Hong Kong.”

The eCanter is available for immediate order and is expected to arrive as soon as the second quarter of 2024, according to a statement accompanying its launch.

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