DAF Trucks UK and Cenex, the sustainable transport research technology organisation – together, Team DAF-Cenex – has completed the ‘EV Rally 2023’; a five-day 1200-mile electric vehicle driving event around the UK and Ireland.
EV Rally ‘23 started in Cardiff on July 3rd before heading to London, Edinburgh, Belfast before 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. EV Rally ’23 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 performed with 100% reliability, with trade press journalists, among others, taking turns at the wheel and agreeing with the vehicle’s simple driving characteristics. The Team DAF-Cenex LF Electric was equipped with a PACCAR box-body, with both the truck and body designed and manufactured in Britain at Leyland Trucks in Lancashire.
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. For the BETT, including live project data – https://bett.cenex.co.uk/
“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,” he said, “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.”
Steve Carroll, Head of Transport at Cenex, said, “Cenex were very pleased to partner with DAF Trucks for the EV Rally. It was a great show case for the range of electric vehicle categories that are now available. The DAF LF Electric 19-tonners are performing well and meeting operator needs in the BETT where they are undertaking logistics operations in a variety of public sector organisations. The EV Rally gave us the chance to show the trucks are also capable of undertaking higher mileage daily operations – where they covered over 300 miles some days. The EV rally also played a valuable role in highlighting the need for public charging infrastructure to be deployed for larger vehicles, such as trucks, but also cars and vans that might be towing trailers and other loads.”