DAF Trucks introduces LF Electric - the truck for urban applications

Published: Wednesday, March 17, 2021

The 19-ton fully electric distribution truck for urban applications offers a range of up to  280 kilometers. Production is set to begin in May in the UK as trucking demand in Europe rises.

Known for leading the way in electric powertrains for commercial vehicles, The Netherlands’ DAF Trucks has ventured into producing electric trucks designed for urban applications.

The DAF LF Electric, developed in close cooperation with Dana Inc., will enter production at Leyland Trucks in the UK in May, the company said.

DAF says the e-motor of the LF Electric provides 250 kW of nominal power (370 kW peak) and a nominal torque of 1.200 Nm (3.700 Nm peak). Power comes from a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack with a gross energy content of 282 kWh (254 kWh effective).

This offers the LF Electric a range of no less than 280 ultra-quiet and ‘zero emission’ kilometers more than enough for the needs of urban distribution transport operators.

DAF’s innovations on electric-powered vehicles goes a long way back. DAF was the first European truck manufacturer to commercialize a full electric tractor: the CF Electric (GCW up to 37 tons), primarily for supermarket distribution and inter-urban transportation.

More recently, DAF expanded its EV range with the 6×2 CF Electric rigid with steered rear axle (GVW up to 29-ton design), ideal for ‘zero emission’ waste collection for example.

The CF Electric trucks have already clocked up several hundreds of thousands of kilometers with high profile customers, building DAF’s experience with electric driveline technology. The new LF Electric is DAF’s latest product to feature a full-electric powertrain.

Latest generation batteries

DAF said it uses so-called LFP batteries (Lithium Ferro Phosphate) on all fully electric vehicles. These are batteries of the very latest generation, containing no cobalt or magnesium, in the interests of sustainability.

Additionally, they are better packaged – resulting in a higher energy density per liter – and the chemistry of the battery ensures the highest thermal safety. The LFP batteries come with a 6-year warranty, illustrating DAF’s confidence in terms of performance, reliability and durability.

Slow and fast charging

A special feature of the new DAF LF Electric is the ‘Combined Charging System’. This allows the truck to be charged through the regular electricity network and is ideal when the truck returns to the home base at the end of the day.

Through slow-charging (400V AC, 22 kW, 3 phase), the battery pack can be charged from 20% to 80% in 6.5 hours. A full charge (0% to 100%) takes up to 12 hours. If dedicated equipment is available, fast charging the batteries (650V DC, 150 kW) will only take 60 minutes from 20% to 80% or 2 hours for a full charge.

e-PTO available

As an option, the new DAF LF Electric is available with a 400V e-PTO for powering auxiliary equipment such as an electric cooling installation or an electro-hydraulic crane. This eliminates the need of a separate generator and will result in a full ‘zero emission’ distribution truck.

The LF Electric is initially available as a 19-tonne rigid, with a choice of 5.3 or 5.85 meter wheelbases. The truck offers a body & payload allowance of 11,700 kilograms, which is sufficient for the majority of city distribution applications.

It goes without saying that the LF Electric benefits from the same distinctive DNA as its siblings with a combustion engine. Just like every LF, it offers easy entry, excellent all-round visibility, great driver comfort and the tightest turning circle in the industry – and thus excellent maneuverability; it is the perfect truck of every driver in urban distribution.

DAF strengthens global position with growing market share in Europe, Brazil and Taiwan

DAF Trucks strengthened its position as a global commercial vehicle manufacturer in 2020. Market share in the European heavy duty (16 tons+) segment grew to 16.3%, the latest generation trucks were introduced in Taiwan and Brazil, and production of the zero emission CF Electric was announced, illustrating DAF’s environmental leadership.

In 2020, DAF registered 37,580 trucks on a total European heavy duty market of 230,400 vehicles, resulting in a market share of 16.3% (2019: 16.2%), which is the second best achievement in the company’s history. The European medium duty truck market (6 to 16 ton) totaled 41,400 units and DAF’s market share was 9.5% (2019: 9.7%).

Market leader in 6 European countries

DAF continued heavy duty market leadership in the Netherlands (31.8%), the UK (31.6%), Poland (23.7%), Hungary (27.9%) and Bulgaria (25,4%). The Dutch truck manufacturer also gained 2020 market leadership in Portugal (21.8%). DAF is the European leader in tractors and the number one import brand in the two largest truck markets in Europe: Germany and France. Market share in the heavy-duty rigid segment increased to 11.5%.

Sales outside Europe

Last year, DAF sold 5,880 trucks outside the EU and introduced its latest generation vehicles in Taiwan (Euro 6), Brazil (Euro 5) as well as in the Middle East and Africa (Euro 3 and 5). The 10,000th locally assembled truck was delivered in Taiwan, where DAF is the heavy-duty market leader among European manufacturers. DAF is also the market leader in Israel and Belarus. In 2020, DAF sold more than 2,000 PACCAR engines to leading manufacturers of coaches, buses and special vehicles worldwide.

‘Record after record’

“In 2020, we sold a record number of DAF MultiSupport Repair and Maintenance contracts, realized a record PACCAR Financial market share and delivered a record number of DAF Used Trucks to their new owners,” said Richard Zink, member of the Board of Management with responsibility for Marketing and Sales. “Our aim is to further strengthen our leading position, and that is why we are working together with our dealers to strategically expand our network of over 1,100 professional dealers and service points. Last year, for example, our independent dealers opened a total of 45 new dealerships in Europe, South America, Asia and Africa.”

Environmental leadership  

In addition to the continued development of combustion engine technology, DAF is investing in the latest technologies for battery and hybrid electric powertrains, supporting lower CO2 emissions and improved air quality in urban areas. In addition, as part of a field test, DAF customers are already benefiting from the advantages of the CF Hybrid truck that employs its zero emissions battery technology when driving in city areas and applies its clean diesel engine on regional routes. DAF announced production of the new CF Electric truck, offering an extended electric range of 200 kilometers and recently introduced the LF Electric with a 280 kilometer zero emission range.

Ready to grow further  

In 2020, DAF produced more than 37,600 CF and XF trucks and almost 9,000 LF vehicles. “European truck demand improved in the second half of the year along with the European economies,” according to Harry Wolters, DAF Trucks President.

“It is estimated that the 2021 European truck market will continue to recover and will be in the range of 250,000 – 280,000 trucks. We are ready for further growth by delivering our customers premium quality, exceptional fuel efficiency and superior driver comfort.” (Photos & Text from: www.daf.com)