• The Associated Press

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Mitsubishi Fuso introduced new a diesel-electric hybrid light truck Wednesday that it said will offer the best fuel efficiency of any commercial vehicle in Japan.

In a press release, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp. called the Canter Eco Hybrid “a pioneering hybrid electric commercial vehicle for the Japan market” that meets the latest government emission standards.

Mitsubishi Fuso, 85 percent owned by DaimlerChrysler AG of Germany, hopes to sell several hundred trucks by year’s end. It has already begun deliveries of the new truck to customers in Japan.

DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche said the truck highlights Mitsubishi Fuso’s technological prowess.

“The Canter Eco Hybrid marks a milestone for the global truck industry,” Zetsche said. “Customers and the environment will both benefit from this technological advance.”

Hybrids deliver better fuel efficiency and lower emissions than comparable conventionally powered vehicles by switching between electricity at low speeds and liquid fuel at higher speeds.

The model was unveiled at a ceremony in Tokyo attended by Zetsche and Andreas Renschler, head of DaimlerChrysler’s truck group.

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