Over the last year, almost all truck makers have either announced an electric truck program or they’ve unveiled an electric truck.

Fred Lambert, May. 16th 2018, Electrek, A look at DAF’s new all-electric truck with a 170 kWh battery pack 

Over the last year, almost all truck makers have either announced an electric truck program or they’ve unveiled an electric truck.

Dutch truck manufacturing company DAF is the latest to join the trend by unveiling a new all-electric truck with a 170 kWh battery pack.

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Preston Feight, DAF Trucks president, commented on the unveiling:

DAF has a strong history of developing innovative solutions to meet the evolving needs of our customers and we will continue to provide them the full complement of appropriate technology choices to ensure their success. DAF was among the first manufacturers to introduce a hybrid electric distribution truck in Europe and has continued to develop hybrid and electric powertrains. As cities announce their intention to require zero emissions and ultra-low noise we will make sure our customers have the optimal solutions for their success.

The truck maker partnered VDL Groep to build the electric powertrain for their CF truck, which consists of a 170 kWh battery pack and a 210 kW electric motor.

A 170 kWh battery pack capacity is fairly small for a truck of that size. For example, Daimler’s E-FUSO Vision ONE is packing a bigger 300 kWh battery pack – just like the Volvo FL Electric.

But DAF claims that it still enables a range of 100 km with a capacity of up to 40 tons, which it says is still useful in distribution applications within urban areas.

The company is also talking about a “quick charging of the batteries in 30 minutes or a complete full charge can be accomplished in as little as 1.5 hours.”

Specs released by DAF:

  • Tractor weight                                  9,700 kg
  • Electric motor                                   210 kW
  • Torque                                              2,000 Nm
  • Capacity batteries                           170 kWh
  • Full electric vehicle range               100 km
  • Quick battery charge                      30 minutes
  • Full battery charge                          1.5 hours

Electrek’s Take

I feel like they will not convince many people with a range of only 100 km.

Range is often the main concern for electric trucks and DAF is not helping to address that concern with this truck.

With this said, if the smaller battery pack can be reflected in the price of the truck, then it might find some takers with fleet operators who currently operate very short urban routes, which aren’t exactly uncommon.

If it ends up turning more diesel-consuming miles into electric miles, I am all for it, but I feel like they could do better.

It might be because they are converting an existing diesel truck into an electric truck instead of rethinking the platform to support an electric powertrain.

I think electrification is really starting to reach the truck industry now and we are seeing all the different strategies from truck makers. It’s going to be an interesting space to follow.