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DAF introduces CF Electric with Extended Range

The Dutch manufacturer carries out crucial steps in the development of electric drivelines by increasing the possible driving range of the DAF CF Electric with VDL e-power technology to more than 200 kilometres. Besides that, a completely new battery generation inevitably means a weight reduction of 700 kg, which translates into a higher payload and consequent cargo flexibility. This second-generation also arrives equipped with new software and a new dashboard.

DAF maintains its successful partnership with VDL Groep, also based in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. VDL is a technology-leading company with substantial experience in commercial vehicle electrification.

DAF strengthen its business strategy to represent the forefront in the European fully electric trucks market. Since 2018 that the first generation of CF Electric model is running around the roads of The Netherlands and Germany, with units sold to prestigious clients from those countries.

This truck has been developed in response to the rising demand for better air quality in our cities and lower CO2 emissions. 500 fully electric kilometres per day is something transporter operators can really work with” says Ron Borsboom, Executive Director DAF Product Development.

17 DAF CF Electric
CF Electric Tractor
DAF CF electric rigid 530807
CF Electric Rigid

Tractor and rigid “urban-friendly” variants

This electric CF is undoubtedly intended for low-to-medium range distribution, especially in large cities where the “last-mile” neutral carbon policies are increasing, and where transport companies need solutions that could fulfil these strict environmental requests.

Another critical aspect of this electric model is the low operating noise, which in valuable addition to the zero-emissions, make it the most suitable vehicle for urban activities, especially in waste collection. DAF currently offers the CF Electric as a 4×2 tractor (GCW: 37 tons) and as a 6×2 rigid with steered trailing axle for maximum manoeuvrability (GVW: 28 tons).

First DAF CF Electric refuse collection truck delivered to ROVA 02
Electric CF from the Dutch company ROVA

According to the DAF press release: “The newest generation of CF Electric vehicles builds upon the proven reliability and user-friendliness of previous generations. A new addition to the current generation is the lithium-ion battery pack with a capacity of 350 kWh (315 kWh effective capacity). In addition to being more powerful, the battery pack is also much lighter – no less than 700 kg. This reduction translates directly into higher payload capacity.  

The battery is conditioned, meaning that the temperature always remains between 25 and 45 degrees Celsius, regardless of the weather, which supports durability and the consistent level of performance of the battery pack.” This sets optimistic expectations for this new generation of batteries from the Dutch manufacturer and could be the future basis for all electrical projects in the Paccar group.

200 range or 500 electric kilometres per day?                                                                     

Another interesting concept presented by DAF, is the way the CF can be recharged, for example during the driver‘s lunch break.

DAF states that “Fully charging the battery is usually carried out at the truck’s home base and takes about 75 minutes using a charging station with a capacity of 250 kilowatts“, meaning the vehicle will be able to travel 200 kilometres in the morning and another 200 in the afternoon. This allows lot of possibilities and applications, including to fleets operating day and night, as the charging times grant the CF to be fully recharged during work shifts changes.

DAF VDL CF Electric 6

But there are more possibilities mentioned by DAF that could instantly change the sceptical perspective that some transport managers still have regarding electric vehicles: “By recharging the battery while (un)loading or during the driver’s break, it is possible to drive up to 500 fully electric kilometres a day in the DAF CF Electric. This is very advantageous in terms of the truck’s productivity and efficiency.”

An interesting commercial approach

One of the most interesting aspects of this new electric CF, in addition to the new battery and the increased autonomy — 100 kilometres more than the previous generation — its the commercial sales concept that DAF Trucks presents. Any use of electric vehicles requires a specific approach and DAF know it. There’s a strategy for working close to the potential customers in the pre-sale phase, which includes advanced route simulation models and efficiency planning according to the specificity and needs for each company.

The press release states that: “DAF also offers advice – together with selected suppliers, such as VDL – regarding the optimal charging infrastructure“, meaning that there is a post-sales concern to help the customer in the necessary purchase and installation of electric recharging terminals.

The CF Electric with extended range will go on sale in September, with delivery expected to start in early 2021.

18 DAF CF Electric

Source: DAF Trucks

Technical specifications

DAF CF Electric | FT tractor

  • Chassis: 4×2
  • Wheelbase: 380 centimetres
  • Weight tractor: 9,000 kg
  • Electric motor: 210 kW
  • Torque: 2000 Nm
  • Battery capacity: 350 kWh
  • Range fully charged: up to 220 km
  • Quick charge: 75 minutes (at 250 kW)

DAF CF Electric | FAN rigid 

  • Chassis: 6×2, trailing axle
  • Wheelbase: 380/420/460/480 cm
  • Weight rigid: 10,200 kg
  • Electric motor: 210 kW
  • Torque:  2,000 Nm
  • Battery capacity: 350 kWh
  • Range fully charged: up to 220 km
  • Quick charge: 75 minutes (at 250 kW)

Having said that, what do you think of it? Do you have any experience or opinion about it? Tell us everything in the comments below or helps us spread the word by sharing this article in your social media!

By Pumizo

A freelance trucking industry journalist, SCS Software senior beta-tester, transport & logistics senior specialist and simulators passionate.

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