Diesels and gas-electric hybrids have been fighting for the top of the mile-per-gallon heap for years now, with proponents on each side rightly pointing out their chosen automotive messiah’s pros vs. the other’s cons ever since the first Insight and Prius hit the US market a decade ago. Don’t think, however, that it’s just the Americans that are having these arguments – over in Japan, the commercial vehicle fleets are weighing out the pros and cons between hybrids and fuel efficient diesels as well. Fresh off receiving a design award for innovation, this truck, the newest Fuso to come from Mitsubishi, might be the best of them all.
Awarded by the automotive manufacturers themselves, this is the first time the award has been presented to a commercial vehicle. The Fuso – specifically, the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid – was chosen because of its innovative, dual-clutch transmission with integrated electric motor, which improved the truck’s MPG rating (compared to conventional Fusos) up by 23%.
Mitsubishi’s Fuso models are ubiquitous transporters here in the US, as the medium-duty cabovers are popular with rental companies and commercial delivery fleets, as well as movers and tow truck operators. Here’s hoping that Mitsu Japan sees fit to bring the new technology Stateside.