DAF Trucks has shared its sustainability strategy in the lead up to this month’s online Commercial Motor Show, and in anticipation of the government’s publication this autumn of its Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

In a video titled ‘On the road to even cleaner road transport’, DAF director of product development, Ron Borsboom, explains the significant steps the truck-maker has taken to reduce transport’s impact on the environment, and how the company is preparing for the future.

The DAF strategy includes both ‘tank-to-wheel’ and ‘well-to-wheel’ solutions – many of which it said are already delivering tangible benefits with operators.


HVO – the ready alternative to diesel

The carbon impact of Euro-6 vehicles can be further, and dramatically, reduced by the use of Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil (HVO) – a ‘drop-in’ alternative to diesel which is immediately available and can be used in all DAF LF, CF and XF models, and without the cost or inconvenience of vehicle modifications.

While cost-per-litre is slightly higher than diesel, DAF said HVO can deliver a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions well-to-wheel. It also offers no range restriction as operators may at any time switch back to conventional diesel fuel.

HVO is already popular in Scandinavia, and is growing in popularity in other European countries including the UK, where fleets including Power Electrics and the London Borough of Hackney are enjoying positive results.

Electric and electric/diesel hybrid

DAF Trucks is also well advanced with its alternative drivetrain technologies for European operations; namely fully battery-electric and electric / diesel hybrid.

To date, six DAF CF Electric tractor-and-trailer combinations have completed over 280,000km– completely emissions free – in field trials in the Netherlands and Germany.

More recently, three-axle rear-steer DAF CF rigids have been added to the DAF Electric product range, in collaboration with VDL, on waste collection field trials in the Netherlands.

The recent introduction of a new generation of batteries for the CF Electric has increased capacity to 350 kWh (315 kWh effective) doubling the vehicle range to 200km and reducing the vehicle weight by 700kg, thus improving the payload.

Similarly, two DAF CF Hybrid trucks have completed 140,000km with high profile Dutch operator, Peter Appel Transport BV, providing clear evidence that hybrid technology offers the ideal combination of emissions-free operation in-town and efficient longer-range inter-urban capability.

DAF Trucks is at an advance stage of developing a lightweight LF Electric which is scheduled for field-trials in the short-term.

Hydrogen on the horizon

Longer-distance transport presents a greater challenge to the goal of zero-emissions; a challenge for which hydrogen may provide an answer.

Through electrolysis – passing electricity though water – clean, ‘green’ hydrogen is produced. Together with Toyota and Shell, DAF’s parent company PACCAR has been exploring various hydrogen options with the first hydrogen-powered Kenworth fuel cell trucks now being tested in the port of Los Angeles.


Supporting operators today

Current Euro-6 engines coupled with exacting vehicle specifications ensure customers benefit from a precisely-configured transport solution, according to DAF.

Professional on-site driver training delivered through DAF Trucks’ network-wide team of Driver Trainers is readily available to provide theoretical and practical guidance on how to extract maximum productivity from DAF vehicles.

Every new DAF CF and XF delivered to a UK retail customer receives a Training Voucher entitling the operator to up to two-and-a-half hours of driver training, helping to maximise the fuel and carbon efficiency of the vehicle in operation.

Come and chat to the DAF team and explore future technology for your own business at the Commercial Motor Show. Free to attend, this three-day essential trade show and conference is a must-attend for all road haulage businesses.