DAF Battery Electric Truck Trial (BETT)
The UK Government are planning a shift to zero emission trucks to help meet their 2050 net-zero target. More zero emission zones (such as CAZ or ULEZ) are also expected to appear in cities over the next few years. In response to this, battery electric trucks are now becoming available from a range of mainstream manufacturers. Fleets and cities are keen to shift to zero emission alternatives but there is little information available on the real-world performance of the vehicles.
In response to this shift, in 2021 DAF trucks were awarded funding from the Small Business Research Innovation zero emission (SBRI ZE) Road Freight Competition funded by the Department for Transport and delivered by Innovate UK. This funding was awarded to commerce deployment of 20 electric trucks in public sector fleets across the Midlands, East, North and Northwest of England.
DAF set up the Battery Electric Truck Trial (BETT) using the awarded funding. This trial was set up to help understand the best way to implement the battery vehicles and charging into fleets and inform on any barriers to adoption.
Cenex, the non-profit research & consultancy organisation focused on low emission transport & associated energy infrastructure, partnered with DAF trucks to lead the study aspects of the research. A key focus of the research and study aspect is to develop a website to highlight learnings from the trial to help remove barriers to adoption of electric trucks.
See the BETT website for more information on the trial.
The trucks on trial are DAF Electric LFs, a 19-tonne battery electric truck with a payload allowance of 11.7 tonnes. The truck has a range of up to 280 km on each battery charge and can be rapid charged at 150 kW for quick turn-around between shifts. The usable battery capacity is 250 kWh.
The trucks are being trialled across different types of public sector operations, from logistics to waste management. The trial vehicles include different types of ancillary systems that will operate from the battery. This includes tail-lifts and refrigeration units. There are a total of nine different organisations using the vehicles: Blackpool Council, Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO), Leeds Teaching Hospitals, NHS Supply Chain, Northern Care Alliance, Rochdale Borough Council, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, University Hospitals Birmingham and Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO).
The results so far
As of mid-February 2023, the vehicles have driven 140,000 km across 9,100 journeys and used 136,000 kWh of electricity, at an average of 0.97 kWh/km. The average real-world range is therefore 257 km. The total well-to-wheel greenhouse gas savings against a comparator Euro VI diesel vehicle are 102 tonnes CO2e and the air quality savings are 29 kg NOx and 414 g PM. The fuel savings against diesel are approximately 19 pence per km per vehicle, totalling £26,000 across the trial. These statistics are updated live on the BETT project website.
The BETT project website is updated regularly with quarterly summary reports showing key statistics and insights from the trial, and deep dive analyses looking at factors influencing energy consumption (e.g. payload, ancillaries, seasons, etc.).
The trial is expected to end in September 2023, when an end of trial white paper will be published.