Although the market is slowly growing, Daimler AG wants to tinker with hybrid trucks – and it’s turning to Mitsubishi Fuso for help.
Automotive News reports that Daimler is officially appointing Mitsubishi Fuso -- the former commercial truck wing of Mitsubishi Motors and, since 2005, a subisidiary of Daimler -- in charge of all future hybrid truck development. Considering Fuso's experience with hybrid vehicles, this isn't surprising.
The Japanese truck builder began experimenting with hybrid powertrain back in 2001, although it didn’t launch a production example (the Canter EcoHybrid) until 2006. The small cab-over truck is a parallel hybrid, allowing the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel I-4 or the 47-hp electric motor to work together or separately. A similar system is also being offered in a Fuso-built transit bus.
Neither model has set sales records (only 525 Canters have been sold since its launch), but Mitsubishi’s taking the hybrid development lead for one solid reason: its system was developed completely in-house. That can’t be said for hybrid offerings from Daimler divisions like Freightliner, Mercedes-Benz, or Orion Bus -- all three brands use hybrid systems developed and manufactured by the suppliers like Eaton, BAE, or Allison Transmission. Daimler hopes to roll out Mitsubishi’s technology across its portfolio over the next five years. If all goes well, it may also assign Fuso a somewhat unusual task: design a hybrid system for Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles. Source: Automotive News