£10m battery-powered truck trial sees 20 DAF LF Electrics enter service in the UK

Twenty DAF LF Electric trucks are entering service with a range of UK public bodies, as part of the Department for Transport-funded Battery Electric Truck Trial (BETT). It is hoped that the information gathered from the GBP10m project, which is part of the Government’s wider GBP20m zero emission road freight trial, will act as a useful tool for operators planning to invest in zero-tailpipe-emissions trucks, so stimulating sales. Leyland Trucks, where the LF Electric is assembled, is working with CENEX, the low carbon research and consultancy organisation, to create an interactive BETT report and website, using real-time data gathered while the trucks are in operation.

This will not only cover the vehicles, but also the charging infrastructure, user training, repair and maintenance and total cost of ownership. The project will use 14 Paccar battery-charging units stationed at 13 operator locations. The vehicles will be maintained and supported through the DAF dealer network, and the drivers will undergo DAF Academy Driver Training.

One of the key operators involved in the trial is NHS Supply Chain, which is supported by Prohire. In total it will put eight battery-powered DAFs with Gray & Adams refrigerated bodies on the road at several different locations. NHS Trusts will put five into operation, while the other seven trucks will go into service with two local authority framework organisations and local councils.

Commenting on BETT, transport minister Trudy Harrison, said: “Demonstrating the high performance of battery electric technology in demanding, real world environments is critical to ensuring confidence continues to build within the industry around the future of zero emission trucks. “I’m excited to see more British-built green trucks take to our roads with the support of the Government’s GBP20m zero emission road freight trials. This demonstration will help us understand the full benefits of this new technology as we power up the electric revolution across the UK and boost green jobs in our towns and villages.”

“This is a significant step in the project as we roll-out vehicles for real-time operations,” added Rob Lawton, principal engineer of alternative powertrains at Leyland Trucks. “We’re working closely with our project partners in order to collect the most accurate data possible.

Electrification is becoming a major consideration for operators, and it’s crucial they’re able to scrutinise reliable evidence before investing in this relatively new technology.”

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