DAF Trucks is outlining its sustainability strategy in the lead up to this month’s Commercial Motor Show 2020, and in anticipation of the UK government’s publication this autumn of its Transport Decarbonisation Plan.
In a recently released video titled ‘on the road to even cleaner road transport’, DAF director of product development, Ron Borsboom explains the significant steps DAF Trucks has taken to reduce transport’s impact on the environment, and how the company is preparing for the future. The DAF strategy includes both ‘tank-to-wheel’ and ‘well-to-wheel’ solutions – many of which are already delivering tangible benefits with UK and European operators.
DAF Trucks’ current truck range is based on tried-and-tested Euro VI diesel engine technology, already delivering 20 per cent lower CO2 levels compared to commercial vehicles as recently as 20-years ago, and over 95 per cent less NOX and PM (particulate matter) since the introduction of emissions standards for trucks in 1992.
The carbon impact of Euro VI vehicles can be further, and dramatically, reduced by the use of Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil (HVO) – a ‘drop-in’ alternative to diesel which is immediately available and can be used in all DAF LF, CF and XF models, and without the cost or inconvenience of vehicle modifications. While cost-per-litre is slightly higher than diesel, HVO can deliver a hugely significant 90 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions well-to-wheel. HVO also offers no range restriction as operators may at any time switch back to conventional diesel fuel.
HVO is already popular in Scandinavia, and is growing in popularity in other European countries.
DAF Trucks is also well advanced with its alternative drivetrain technologies for European operations; namely fully battery-electric and electric / diesel hybrid. Such zero- and ultra-low emissions capabilities provide immediate air quality and low-carbon tank-to-wheel benefits, and are well-suited to urban and inter-urban operations. Indeed, zero-emission zones are expected to be implemented in European towns and cities starting from 2025. To date, six DAF CF Electric tractor-and-trailer combinations have completed over 280,000 km – completely emissions free – in field trials in Netherlands and Germany. More recently, three-axle rear-steer DAF CF rigids have been added to the DAF Electric product range, in collaboration with VDL, on waste collection field trials in the Netherlands.
The recent introduction of a new generation of batteries for the CF Electric has increased capacity to 350 kWh (315 kWh effective) doubling the vehicle range to 200 km and reducing the vehicle weight by 700kg, thus improving the payload.
Similarly, two DAF CF Hybrid trucks have completed 140,000km with high profile Dutch operator, Peter Appel Transport BV, providing clear evidence that hybrid technology offers the ideal combination of emissions-free operation in-town and efficient longer-range inter-urban capability.
DAF Trucks is at an advance stage of developing a lightweight LF Electric which is scheduled for field-trials in the short-term.
With electric and hybrid technologies offering solutions to urban and inter-urban operations, longer-distance transport presents a greater challenge to the goal of zero-emissions; a challenge for which hydrogen may provide an answer. Through electrolysis – passing electricity though water – clean, ‘green’ hydrogen is produced. Together with Toyota and Shell, DAF’s parent company PACCAR has been exploring various hydrogen options with the first hydrogen-powered Kenworth fuel cell trucks now being tested in the port of Los Angeles.
DAF Trucks says it remains committed to providing effective support for operators looking to boost fuel economy and achieve greater compatibility with the environment. Current Euro VI engines coupled with exacting vehicle specifications ensure customers benefit from a precisely-configured transport solution. Dedicated, professional on-site driver training delivered through DAF Trucks’ network-wide team of Driver Trainers is readily available to provide theoretical and practical guidance on how to extract maximum productivity from DAF vehicles.