DAF electric truck trial hits UK roads

DAF Trucks has begun what the manufacturer describes as ‘one of the largest and most significant deployments of zero-emission trucks in the UK to date’.

A 20-strong fleet of 19-tonne DAF LF electric vehicles has been deployed to a range of public bodies, including the National Health Service and local authorities.

The initiative forms part of a Battery Electric Truck Trial (BETT) which is being backed by GBP10 million of funding from the Department of Transport and is part of the government’s wider GBP20 million zero emission road freight trials.

The BETT is designed to provide a full picture of electric truck use, focusing on vehicles, charging infrastructure, user training, repair and maintenance and total cost-of-ownership.

The 20 LF trucks, all manufactured by Leyland Vehicles in Lancashire, will be used on a daily basis by their operators while gathering real-time data as part of the BETT. This data will be fed into an interactive website to help fleet operators make future buying decisions and hopefully stimulate sales of battery-electric trucks.

Five of the DAF LF trucks will be fitted with refrigerated bodies and used by the NHS supply chain. A further five will work with local NHS trusts while the remaining seven will be used by two local authorities in school supply operations and local councils for recycling and general logistics duties.

Recharging the vehicles will rely on 14 PACCAR battery-charging units set up at 13 operator locations.

These will offer a range of capacities from 22kW to 180kW, both to suit the differing requirements of operators and to provide the widest range of data for the BETT.

The DAF LF uses a 260kW electric motor powered by a 252kWh battery pack, its range between charges quoted at up to 175 miles. Its onboard charger can be connected to a 400v AC three-phase electrical supply for overnight charging, from 20 to 80% in six and a half hours and 0% to full capacity in 12 hours.

With a fast-charger installed at the operator’s premises the LF can be recharged from 20 to 80% in one hour, or 0 to 80% in two hours.