Daimler announced plans to bring a fleet of battery-powered Fuso delivery vehicles to customers in New York City. Fred Katayama reports.
Daimler showed off its eCanter electric trucks in New York City. It plans to deliver them to customers soon. The first one? UPS. Daimler's Mitsubishi Fuso unit is building the trucks at factories in Portugal and Japan. The company says each brings cost savings of $20,000. AAA Northeast's Robert Sinclair, Jr. , says that could be an overstatement, but bringing electric trucks to a big city like New York is a very good idea. (SOUNDBITE) ROBERT SINCLAIR, JR., MEDIA RELATIONS MANAGER, AAA NORTHEAST (ENGLISH) SAYING: "These trucks are smaller. They're lighter. They're more maneuverable. They're much better, especially for a UPS-type of application to be able to get through the streets more quickly, more easily. If they double-park, which they often do, they're not taking up as much room. It's a great idea. They have far limited cargo capacity, only two or three tones versus 44 tons for a large truck, and their range is limited to about 60 miles, and you really lack the charging infrastructure in this city, but it's a good first start." The market for electric trucks is in its infancy. Still, established manufacturers, such as Daimler, Navistar, and Tesla, are racing to get them up and running. The timing is good. Regulators are cracking down on carbon dioxide and soot pollution.