Linfox plugs into Fuso EV for beer deliveries

Fuso’s full-electric eCanter truck delivering kegs around Sydney in BevChain trial

auto, autos, car, cars, linfox plugs into fuso ev for beer deliveries
auto, autos, car, cars, linfox plugs into fuso ev for beer deliveries
auto, autos, car, cars, linfox plugs into fuso ev for beer deliveries
auto, autos, car, cars, linfox plugs into fuso ev for beer deliveries
auto, autos, car, cars, linfox plugs into fuso ev for beer deliveries

SOME of Australia’s major corporations are dipping their toes into the electric vehicle pool with trials underway for EV delivery trucks.

Big-name users to date include Linfox and its BevChain division, which are operating trials of full-electric Volvo FL and Fuso eCanter delivery trucks for businesses including Bunnings, Centurion, Coles, Tooheys and Victoria Bitter.

The biggest purchase order to date for the electric Fuso, a product of Daimler Truck, has been Australia Post that now has 20 of the eCanter trucks.

Linfox said it was attracted to electric trucks because having a sustainable fleet has become part of the transport company’s tenet through its Green Fox program that was started in 2007.

Daimler introduced the eCanter globally in 2017 but it did not go on sale in Australia until last year following an extensive local evaluation program.

The time lag has let a new generation of the truck sneak up on Australia and it is believed that Daimler Truck Australia is preparing for local testing before unveiling that model to the market.

In order to show the efficiency of the current-generation eCanter in the Australian market, the truck-maker published a release about the experiences of one driver working for BevChain and delivering Toohey’s beer kegs to suburban pubs around Sydney.

Fuso eCanter driver Lance Valentine completes three to four loops daily from Linfox subsidiary BevChain’s Lidcombe base, delivering kegs to pubs in a 40km radius.

As well as charging overnight, Mr Valentine plugs the truck into a fast charger when he returns to the BevChain base in order to briefly top up the batteries. Then he heads out again.

Depending on traffic conditions and route, the total distance for his daily deliveries could be up to 150km.

“When I get back to the yard after the first run, the battery still has decent range thanks to some regenerative braking,” said Mr Valentine.

“With the fast charger, I easily top it up in a very short time and that gives me enough to get out and back without having to worry about range.”

The eCanter uses six liquid-cooled lithium-ion batteries mounted in the frame that store 82.8kW/h of electricity and feed a permanent-magnet synchronous motor.

Of the driving experience, Mr Valentine said the eCanter is smoother, more comfortable, easier to drive and almost without any noise compared with the previous diesel trucks he used.

The near-silent operation is a big plus for residents in the areas the Toohey’s kegs are delivered.

“Beyond the fact it is producing zero emissions, the quiet operation is also really important,” he said.

“Driving around heavily populated areas without the noise of a diesel is a big positive when you think about noise pollution in a neighbourhood.”

Mr Valentine said he did not know what the electric truck’s performance would be like and certainly never expected it to be quick.

“I had never driven an electric car, so I didn’t know that they have really good performance and are quite zippy,” he said.

The electric drivetrain has also changed the way Mr Valentine drives, using the regenerative system that charges the batteries when coasting to supplement the truck’s brakes.

“The regenerative braking is so good that I hardly have to use the brakes,” he said.

“I tend to look ahead and see what I can do to harvest energy with the regenerative braking, like lifting off to charge going down a hill or using the regenerative braking to pull up rather than use the brakes.”

In addition to its electric drivetrain, the eCanter was chosen by Linfox because of its full suite of active safety features including autonomous emergency braking, (AEB) which uses radar to detect potential collisions and enhance braking pressure in emergency stops.

The system can also automatically begin to brake if it detects moving pedestrians, which is especially important in urban areas. Other safety features include lane-departure warning, electronic stability control, hill-start assist, a reversing camera and driver and passenger airbags.

auto, autos, car, cars, linfox plugs into fuso ev for beer deliveries

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