In what is one of the largest deployments of zero emission trucks in the UK to date, 20 DAF LF Electric vehicles are entering service with a range of public bodies and local authorities, as part of the Battery Electric Truck Trial (BETT).
The trucks are now entering day-to-day operations while at the same time gathering real-time data; the results from which will be used in an interactive website to inform future fleet operator buying decisions and help stimulate the sale of battery electric trucks.
One of the key operators partnering the BETT is NHS Supply Chain, which is due to deploy eight DAF LF Electric rigids with refrigerated bodies at several of its locations around the UK.
Five vehicles are also destined for local NHS Trusts. The remaining seven are earmarked for service with two local authority framework organisations in school supply operations and local councils for use in recycling and general logistic uses. Bodywork includes PACCAR box bodies designed and manufactured by DAF Trucks, and also temperature-controlled bodies supplied by Gray & Adams.
The BETT is valued at £10 million and focuses on an end-to-end solution, covering vehicles, charging infrastructure, user training, repair and maintenance and total-cost-of- ownership, providing operational insight across a variety of duty cycles.
It is part of the UK Government’s wider £20 million zero emission road freight trials and is delivered using the SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative); a process bringing together government challenges and ideas from business to create innovative solutions.
Lancashire-based Leyland Trucks – where the LF Electric is manufactured – is working with CENEX, the low carbon research and consultancy organisation, to create the interactive BETT report and website.
Key to the BETT will be a thorough analysis of vehicle charging. The project will use 14 PACCAR battery-charging units stationed at 13 operator locations, with capacities ranging from 22kW to 180kW to suit differing operational needs and to provide a broad range of data.
DAF Academy Driver Training has also been provided for drivers of the BETT LF Electric vehicles with locally based DAF Dealer Trainers also being familiarised to provide on-going ad-hoc driver support as required during the trial.