Mitsubishi Fuso, part of DaimlerChrysler's Truck Group, has started to sell its Canter Eco Hybrid light-duty truck in Japan. It claims that this is the cleanest light-duty truck in the world. According to the company, which doesn't disclose the methodology it used, this truck releases 41% less nitrogen oxide and consumes 20% less fuel than conventionally-powered models. This hybrid diesel-electric truck 'switches its operational mode according to the driving situation.' The company expects to sell several hundred Canter Eco Hybrids by the end of 2006 in Japan but has no firm plans for selling it on other markets.
Now, are you ready for some marketing hype from the Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corporation (MFTBC)?
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.'
The company issued another press release -- for U.S. readers -- about this 'green' truck, Mitsubishi Fuso Shows Concept of Its Eco-Hybrid Medium Duty Cabover Work Truck. And here is a picture of this eco-hybrid truck showing its main components (Credit: MFTBC).
The company adds that this truck is easy to drive -- no shifting needed -- and to operate -- regular diesel is used. It also gives some details about the engine.
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 nitrogen oxide (NOx).
And below is a diagram showing how the various operational modes of this truck (Credit: MFTBC, via Green Car Congress (July 15, 2006).
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.
Finally, for more information about the batteries used by various hybrid vehicles from Mitsubishi, you might want to read Development of High-Performance Lithium-Ion Batteries for Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PDF format, 5 pages, 167 KB). The top image of this post was extracted from this document.
Sources: Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corporation (MFTBC) press release, July 5, 2006; and various web sites
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