DAF Trucks and Cenex, the sustainable transport research technology organisation – together, Team DAF-Cenex – recently completed the 2023 EV Rally; a five-day 1200-mile electric vehicle driving event around the UK and Ireland.
The EV Rally started in Cardiff on 3rd July before heading to London, Edinburgh, and Belfast, finishing five days later in Dublin.
The event drew participation from numerous teams associated with the sector driving a total of over 50 including cars, vans and trucks.
The event was designed to demonstrate the capabilities of EVs and several clean energy projects from stakeholders keen to showcase their low-carbon credentials.
It also highlighted the importance of a publicly accessible charging infrastructure able to accommodate larger vehicles including HGVs.
Team DAF-Cenex reports that the 19-tonne LF Electric, which was equipped with a PACCAR box-body, performed with 100 per cent reliability.
Team DAF-Cenex entered the EV Rally 2023 with a 19-tonne GVW DAF LF Electric seconded from the Battery Electric Truck Trial (BETT) – an 18-month fact-finding study into the efficacy of EVs in operation. The BETT includes 20 DAF LF Electric vehicles now in service with a range of public bodies including the NHS and local authorities.
“EV Rally ’23 proved to be a superb way for the low-carbon industry to come together,” said Adam Bennett, EV & sustainability manager at DAF Trucks, “and we’re delighted that Team DAF-Cenex took the challenge in their stride, and that the LF Electric impressed everyone that took a turn in the cab.
“Key for me is that this event highlighted the clear and present need for a dedicated charging infrastructure for larger vehicles. Minor adjustments to existing charging points for cars would improve accessibility for trucks,” he added, “and this would certainly be an important first step, but it is not scalable. Only a dedicated infrastructure for trucks will have the desired impact upon the adoption of EVs among operators.”
In June 2021, DAF Trucks was awarded funding under the SBRI ZE Road Freight Competition to deploy and undertake research on the performance of 20 DAF LF Electric trucks. Cenex, a non-profit research and consultancy organisation focused on low emission transport and associated energy infrastructure, partnered with DAF Trucks to lead the study aspects of the research.
A key focus of the research and study aspect was to develop a website tool to promote and educate fleet owners on electric truck adoption. This website is already helping highlight learnings from the trial to help remove barriers to adoption of electric trucks.