DB Schenker future-proofs fleet with electric Fuso eCanter trucks

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Logistics specialist DB Schenker has deployed its first UK-based Fuso eCanter electric truck to support its Europe-wide move to zero-emission urban deliveries.

DB Schenker is taking delivery of a total of 36 eCanters to support its sustainability strategy and its work on emission-free urban logistics

The eCanter is the world’s first fully electric light-duty truck to enter series production and features an electric drivetrain using a permanent-magnet motor that delivers 180hp via a single-gear transmission in the rear axle. It’s powered by six 13.8kWh lithium-ion batteries, giving a total power output of 82.8kWh (66kWh usable).

DB Schenker is taking delivery of a total of 36 eCanters to support its sustainability strategy and its work on emission-free urban logistics.

It already has five eCanters in service in France and Germany, while the new addition to its UK fleet is being operated at Bradford, working in and around the city centre, as part of a 36-strong fleet.

The eCanter features a curtainside body by En-Veco, the specialist electric vehicle arm of West Midlands-based bodybuilder Bevan Group, which also fitted its 1,000kg Dhollandia tail-lift.

The truck covers some 55 miles a day – well within its effective operating range of more than 62 miles and with a laden weight mostly above 6.0 tonnes. It then returns to base at the end of the day and is recharged overnight using a 22kW installed by Stratford Energy Solutions.

DB Schenker fleet manager Dave Shepherd commented: “With its compact footprint and impressive manoeuvrability, the eCanter is clearly well suited to inner-city deliveries.

“Not only does this vehicle offer the reliability and competitive running costs we need, but as legislation moves on, and ultra-low emission zones become more widespread, as well as stricter, it can help us to future-proof our delivery operation.”

Specialist training has been provided to drivers by senior truck trainer Alistair Colquhoun, from Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ Wentworth Park complex – the Fuso light truck range is sold and supported by Mercedes-Benz Trucks in the UK.

Dealer Northside Truck & Van will maintain the eCanter under a four-year Mercedes-Benz Finance contract hire agreement.

Dave Shepherd added: “Electric power is a new departure for us, so we’re still working out the most effective way to use the vehicle and will be monitoring its performance very closely. The early signs are certainly promising, though. As well as the obvious environmental benefits, on the evidence of what we’ve seen so far we expect it to prove highly economical to operate.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.