20 DAF LF Electric rigid trucks enter service on Battery Electric Truck Trial.

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In what is one of the largest and most significant deployments of zero emission trucks in the UK to date, 20 DAF LF Electric vehicles are entering service with a range of public bodies including the National Health Service (NHS) and Local Authorities, as part of the Battery Electric Truck Trial (BETT) funded by Department for Transport (DfT).

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. With the Government having set ambitious targets to end the sale of non-zero emission heavy goods vehicles from 2035 (for vehicles of 26-tonne GVW and below, and 2040 for heavier vehicles) the BETT is expected to make a significant and positive impact upon the move to zero emission vehicles.

One of the key operators partnering the BETT is NHS Supply Chain who, supported by Prohire Ltd. in the provision of financing and maintenance services as part of the arrangements, are due to deploy eight DAF LF Electric rigids with refrigerated bodies at several of its locations around the country. 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.

All the vehicles in the trial feature the distinctive Battery Electric Truck Trial logo.

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 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.

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 £20m 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.”

Recharging Infrastructure

Also 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.