Keeps cool in Northern Finland: FUSO eCanter operates as one of Daimler Truck’s most northern electric trucks in customer operation at DB SCHENKER

  • Two FUSO eCanter in DB SCHENKER fleet operation in northern Finland since the beginning of the year
  • Battery-electric transport with FUSO eCanter proves its worth in weather conditions near the Arctic Circle

Leinfelden-Echterdingen – SCHENKER AG (“DB SCHENKER”) integrated two FUSO eCanter into its fleet network in Finland at the beginning of the year and is operating the battery-electric 7.5-tonne trucks every day in one of the coldest regions in Europe.

In Kuusamo, in the far north-east of Finland, the snow is often several meters deep between October and April, and temperatures as low as -30 degrees are not uncommon. Starting from the DB SCHENKER hub in Kuusamo, the eCanter has been making last-mile deliveries here since the beginning of the year. The vehicle is currently one of the most northern electric trucks from Daimler Truck in customer operations. Another eCanter is deployed in Oulu, about 200 km southwest of Kuusamo.

DB SCHENKER made a conscious decision to deploy the first two vehicles of the current eCanter model at these two locations. Raino Mourujärvi, Head of Terminal Area at DB SCHENKER Northern Finland, is responsible for all buildings, vehicles and personnel for land transportation in the north of Finland: “I really wanted us to use the eCanter here and disprove the preconception that you can’t do anything with an electric truck in these weather conditions.”

So far, the eCanter has fully demonstrated this. Sami Määtä, Terminal Manager at DB SCHENKER hub in Kuusamo and also driver of the eCanter, has already driven more than 1,200 km with the eCanter in recent weeks, making deliveries to customers. “The vehicle starts flawlessly every day. With the low temperatures prevailing in winter, people in Kuusamo are used to different things from diesel vehicles from time to time.” Another clear advantage for Sami Määttä is the charging directly inside of the building: while the eCanter is charging its batteries, the DB SCHENKER employee is planning the routes for the day or can load freight into other vehicles. Waiting times during the refueling process at a filling station are completely eliminated.

Thanks to the electric preconditioning, the vehicle can be brought to the ideal operating temperature before it is put into operation. This is pleasant for the driver – especially in the Finnish winter – but also serves to increase the range and the service life of the battery. Driver Sami Määttä has become accustomed to the eCanter’s range, which is technically limited in extremely low temperatures: “I’ve never been stranded with an empty battery. I plan my routes and those of our other vehicles accordingly.” But of course, this planning will become easier when the vehicle has a longer range in the warmer months. DB SCHENKER is looking forward to the coming months and would like to gain further experience with the vehicle throughout the year.

For Harald Knaapinen, Head of Land Transport Finland at DB SCHENKER, the use of the FUSO eCanter is also part of the strategy: “Together with our customers, we also want to play a pioneering role in sustainable logistics in Finland. To reduce CO2 emissions, such an investment in electric transportation is essential for us. In Finland, parcel transportation accounts for a large proportion of pick-up and delivery traffic. The current eCanter is the ideal vehicle for this application. And the deployment of the two vehicles in northern Finland with its extreme weather conditions is a unique opportunity for us, basically an ultimate test.”

DB SCHENKER has many years of experience with FUSO’s eCanter

DB SCHENKER was one of the first eCanter customers in Europe and introduced the predecessor of the current eCanter model into its fleets in Germany, France and other European countries several years ago, starting in Berlin in 2018. Today, 52 FUSO eCanter (the current model and its predecessor) operate for DB SCHENKER in Europe.

Florian Schulz, Head of Sales & Customer Services Fuso Europe, appreciates the good cooperation with the customer DB SCHENKER: “The feedback we have received on the eCanter from DB SCHENKER over the last few years is extremely valuable to us. We have incorporated the feedback directly into the development of our Next Generation eCanter. We are delighted that DB SCHENKER is now also using the new model in its fleet network across Europe.”

The current eCanter with its wide range of variants has made the vehicle even more attractive for DB SCHENKER. The larger wheelbase and the higher possible payload of the 7.49-ton model as well as the greater range are already proving their worth in use, as the vehicles in Kuusamo and Oulu show.

Versatile eMobility with endless application possibilities: The FUSO eCanter

To meet customer requirements even better, FUSO has made several changes to the Next Generation eCanter. While the previous electric truck was only available as a 7.49-tonner with a wheelbase of 3,400 millimeters, customers now have a choice of six wheelbases ranging from 2,500 to 4,750 millimeters and a gross vehicle weight of 4.25 to 8.55 tons. The payload of the chassis is up to 5 tons. The Next Generation eCanter is powered either by a 110 kW (variants with a gross vehicle weight of 4.25 and 6 tons) or 129 kW (variants with a gross vehicle weight of 7.49 and 8.55 tons) electric motor with an optimized driveline and 430 Nm of torque; the maximum speed is 89 km/h (governed).

Depending on the wheelbase, three different battery packs are available: S, M and L. The batteries use lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cell technology. These are characterized above all by a long service life and more usable energy. The battery pack in the S variant has a nominal capacity of 41 kWh and enables a range of up to 70 kilometers. In the M variant, the nominal capacity is 83 kWh and the range is up to 140 kilometers. The L variant, the most powerful package, offers a nominal capacity of 124 kWh and a range of up to 200 kilometers. That is far more than the distance usually covered per day in light distribution traffic. The range can be increased even further by recuperation, which also minimizes charging breaks.

As far as battery charging is concerned, the Next Generation eCanter is compatible with all main voltages in the major markets. The charging unit supports charging with both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). The charging standard is the Combined Charging System CCS, and charging is possible at up to 104 kW. DC fast charging from 20 to 80 percent of capacity is possible in around 24 (S), 26 (M) and 39 minutes (L), depending on the battery pack (up to 70 kW for S battery and up to 104 kW for M and L battery). AC charging (11 and 22 kW) takes between around four and six hours, depending on the battery pack.