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Feature Article

Full charge ahead

The momentum behind FUSO eCanter continues to gather pace as more Kiwi operators embrace the move towards fleet decarbonisation. 

The FUSO eCanter is the world’s-first series-produced 100% electric light duty truck and has been adopted by a wide range of businesses across the country looking to be leaders in their respective industries and gain an early advantage in the transition to wider EV deployment. 

Following a successful trial period, Genesis Energy has added three more FUSO eCanter trucks to its LPG delivery fleet. The trucks will be stationed in Hamilton, Fielding and Christchurch and each depot can call on its own charging station. 

“We wanted to lead and we wanted to share our journey to enable others to join us in decarbonising our transport sector,” said Brad Phillips, former fleet engineering and reliability manager at Genesis. “Not only that, we wanted to test our operations and infrastructure to get an early and full understanding of the opportunities, the constraints and the costs.” 

Learnings gained from the integration of its first eCanter in Auckland have given the company the know-how and confidence to add more of the electric trucks to its fleet. 

“The first trial went really well. It has been a good opportunity to work with Fuso NZ, which has been really engaged in the trial and in helping us to understand the product’s capabilities,” said Phillips. 

PlaceMakers has also recently joined the list of ‘zero emission heroes’, with an eCanter in Auckland and Wellington respectively. 

“Our aim is to reduce our carbon output by 30% by 2030,” says Fleet Optimisation Manager Shafeel Dean. “We have one truck in Wellington and one in Auckland and, if our experience with them goes well, we’ll look to make the rest of our tipper fleet electric over the next few years.” 

The eCanter has been put to work delivering construction supplies throughout the North Island’s two biggest cities. 

PlaceMakers FUSO eCanter light-duty truck in action

With a payload of up to 2.5T in its 4m-long tipper tray, its delivery capacity matches similar sized trucks – but the amount of power and torque it produces from standstill leaves the rest of them in the dust. 

“It’s really good off the mark,” says the eCanter’s Wellington driver Jason Fisk. “I’m away well before other trucks reach second gear – it’s brilliant!” 

On the road, Jason says it’s well equipped with mod cons such as Apple and Android CarPlay. 

“The cab is really comfortable; the seat is brilliant, and the leaf spring suspension means the ride is smooth – I don’t get any bounce from the road at all.”  

He says there is added peace of mind thanks to a safety package that includes Active Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning and Electronic Stability Control. 

Reversing into those tight Wellington driveways on residential build sites is also easier with help from the truck’s reversing camera, and there is also an unrestricted view out the back of the cab. 

At the other end of the country, Yokohama tyres importer and distributor Radial Imports is also taking its first steps towards a more sustainable future. 

After being impressed with the cost savings of an electric car, Radial Imports boss Sam Robinson decided to replace his diesel delivery vehicle with an eCanter. 

The eCanter can take up to 100 tyres per trip from Radial’s East Tāmaki HQ, making two delivery runs each day. 

Radial Imports turned to the FUSO eCanter light-duty truck

“We’ll head out in the morning on a full charge, come back for a top-up, then head out on a second round of deliveries.” 

Sam says that fuel costs are around a third of what they were, plus the eCanter eliminates the road user charge from the accounts. 

“We’re glad to be on the path to reducing our fleet emissions and educating ourselves in EV integration,” says Sam. “It’s very satisfying to have the eCanter on the road with our name on the side.” 

Contact your nearest FUSO dealer to discuss FUSO eCanter trucks for sale, and options.