Electric vehicles offer quiet operation, zero local emissions and instant torque – attributes that are attractive across the transport sector, not just for cars and motorcyles. One of these areas is light trucks and the Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) Canter E-CELL concept is a taste of things to come on urban roads. Based on the 3.5 ton Fuso Canter 3S13, the Canter E-CELL sees the combustion engine replaced with an electric motor producing peak power of 70 kW and 300 Nm of torque. The result is a range of around 75 miles with top speed limited to 50 mph, while recharge time on the 40 kWh battery pack is around six hours via a 380-volt power network.

MFTBC, majority owned by Daimler, sees the Canter E-CELL as the "the next logical step forward" following the development of the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid. E-CELL technology is already being rolled-out in the light commercial sector in the form of the Mercedes Vito E-CELL van.

Fuso presented the Canter E-CELL at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hanover in September. While the concept is being referred to as a "one-off" its future is under discussion according to Daimler and it could become part of a test fleet next year.

MFTBC's previous green truck edition, the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid, has managed moderate sales world wide with over 1,000 now on the road in Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, and Ireland, and with a testing program being conducted in London. According to MFTBC the Canter Eco Hybrid with diesel-electric drive delivers fuel savings of between ten and 15 percent as compared with other light trucks. The two-ton version of the Canter Hybrid has a fuel efficiency of 8.6 liters per 100 kilometers, currently the lowest fuel consumption of any truck in Japan according to MFTBC.