Daimler starts production of world's first all‑electric light-duty truck in Portugal

Daimler starts production of world's first all‑electric light-duty truck in Portugal

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) has celebrated the start of production of the Fuso eCanter at its plant in Tramagal, Portugal.

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Tramagal is where all eCanter for the European and US markets will be produced in line with the conventional Fuso Canter truck. Fuso is a brand of Daimler Trucks Asia.

The Fuso eCanter is produced in line with the conventional Canter light-duty truck at the Tramagal plant. Only the electric-powertrain specific components will be installed in specific boxes along the production line. The vehicles coming from Tramagal, Portugal will be handed over to customers within Europe and the US within the next month.

The eCanter at a glance

The eCanter has a range of 100 kilometres and a load capacity of two to three tons – depending on body and usage. The vehicle's electric powertrain contains six high voltage lithium ion battery packs with 420 volts and 13.8 kWh each.

The battery packs are being delivered from the 100% Daimler subsidiary Accumotive in Kamenz, Germany.

Fuso has a long history in alternative drivetrains for trucks. Series production of the Canter Eco Hybrid began in 2006, while the second generation has been in production since 2012.

At the 2010 IAA Fuso presented a first prototype of an electrically powered Canter E-Cell, leading into a pre-series production for testing purposes in 2014. An outlook on the Fuso eCanter small series celebrated its world premiere at the IAA in 2016 and the commercialised series-production eCanter will be globally launched in New York in September of this year.

Tramagal – a plant with a wealth of experience

The Tramagal plant in Portugal, around 150 kilometers north-east of Lisbon, has a long and varied history. It was founded in 1964 as a joint venture of the Portuguese family-run business Duarte Ferreira and the former French truck manufacturer Berliet. In 1980, the plant began with CKD (completely knocked down) assembly for Mitsubishi Fuso. In the following years the company assembled the Fuso Canter light‑duty truck and other Mitsubishi Fuso vehicles for the Portuguese market. Ten years later, the plant was purchased by Mitsubishi Motors Portugal. In 1996, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation took over the plant as the central production location for the Fuso Canter for Western Europe. The plant became part of Daimler AG in 2003 after the automaker acquired the majority share of Mitsubishi Fuso.

The plant covers a surface of 160,000 square metres. More than 400 employees produce Fuso Canter for around 30 European countries, Israel, Morocco and Turkey. Almost 95% of the vehicles are exported. Since 2012, the Tramagal employees have also produced the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid, the hybrid version of the Canter.

SAIC-GM-Wuling launches the low-price high-spec Baojun E100, its first EV

SAIC-GM-Wuling launches the low-price high-spec Baojun E100, its first EV

SAIC-GM-Wuling has launched the Baojun E100, the brand's first fully-electric vehicle priced from just RMB 35,800 ($5,300) after national and local subsidies.

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SAIC-GM-Wuling began limited pre-sales of the E100 in Liuzhou, Guangxi. More than 5,000 people registered for the first 200 vehicles. Another 500 vehicles will be available starting soon, with sales initially limited to Guangxi.

The E100 is powered by a single motor that produces 110 Nm of torque and 29 kW of motoring power. It can travel up to 155 km on a single charge making it an excellent choice for many urban daily commutes in China. The lithium-ion battery pack can be fully charged in 7.5 hours. It is capable of capturing energy through a regenerative braking system.

With a wheelbase of 1,600 mm and height of 1,670 mm, the compact E100 seats up to two adults comfortably. Its turning radius of 3.7 metres enables it to get in and out of tight spaces conveniently. The vehicle has a maximum speed of 100 km/h, allowing it to travel on local roads and urban expressways.

The E100 has an independent front-wheel suspension and single-arm rear suspension. Its safety features include anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, electric power steering, an electronic parking brake, parking sensors, ISOFIX mounts for child safety seats and a pedestrian alert system.

A 7-inch screen and Wi-Fi is standard while it is also available with a touchpad, air filter and keyless entry, on the premium Zhixiang variant.

ALPINA B7 Bi-Turbo – the world's fastest four-door production car

ALPINA B7 Bi-Turbo – the world's fastest four-door production car

ALPINA's new supersaloon is now available, with a final specification that pushes top speed to an astonishing 205 mph, up from the 193 mph predicted at the Geneva launch.

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With an ALPINA-optimised 4.4-litre V-8 delivering 608 hp (up from 600 for the show car) and 800 Nm, the new B7 Bi-Turbo joins the exclusive group of cars with effortless 200 mph performance.

At the heart of the new B7 Bi-Turbo is a heavily-revised, direct injection V8 breathing through two specially-developed, twin-scroll turbochargers located between the cylinder banks, operating in parallel to deliver up to 1.2 bar with minimum inertia. Particular attention has been paid to airflow optimisation, with a new wide-bore intake system providing shorter intake paths and optimised radii to allow near-instant throttle response. Pistons and spark plugs are uprated to ALPINA specifications.

A new indirect intercooler system (air/water/air) further improves both power and responsiveness, with a main intercooler feeding the two large-volume, close-coupled intercoolers. Together with additional radiators, the system ensures the thermodynamic stability of the V-8 Bi-Turbo engine at all times, even under the highest sustained loads and most aggressive ambient air temperatures.

The eight-speed automatic transmission also receives additional cooling, alongside a host of modifications that include strengthened gear clusters and a larger torque converter. ALPINA's work with transmission supplier ZF is another reason for the exceptional acceleration of the new B7 Bi-Turbo. The result of extensive analysis to ensure durability at high mileages, its immense strength means that the torque reduction commonly applied during upshifts is not required.

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