One-fifth of fleets plan to try alternative fuels within three years, says latest CM research

One-in-five operators plan to acquire alternative-fuelled trucks in the next three years, new research reveals, demonstrating a growing appetite for new technology.

The ‘Asset Alliance Group Industry Monitor 2021’, compiled in partnership with Motor Transport and Commercial Motor, also discovered that just over half (51%) of respondents said they had no current plans to buy non-diesel trucks, however with the caveat “this might change”. The remaining 29% stated they had no intentions to try alternatives.

Gas-powered trucks topped the list when it came to which alternative fuels operators were looking to try, with 8% looking at liquefied natural gas (LNG) and 6% considering compressed natural gas (CNG).

A further 9% were planning on plugging into battery electric vehicle technology, while 6% were exploring range-extended electric options.

Drop-in fuels such as hydro-treated vegetable oil (HVO) and gas to liquid (GTL), as well as hydrogen were also on the radar for some operators.

Finances and a lack of public refuelling infrastructure topped the list when it came to the barriers cited by operators for trying new fuels and technology.

But more than half (52%) of respondents would be more inclined to try alternative fuels if there was a financial incentive from the government, such as reduced tax or maybe a scrappage scheme.

Non-financial operational incentives, such as more access to restricted kerb-sides or additional delivery windows, would also encourage one-fifth of respondents.

Free to download, the ‘Asset Alliance Group Industry Monitor 2021’ comprises a robust 625-strong respondent base.

A must-read for all fleet operators, it provides analysis of key challenges – such as urban regulations, the national driver shortage and truck crime – and gauges the impact they are having on business of all sizes.


New DAF XF range launched


After one of the longest lives is truck history, the 1987 DAF XF has finally been replaced with a brand new, clean sheet design. The new XF’s most obvious features surround the all-new cab, the first from any manufacturer to be designed to meet the latest regulations on truck weights and measures, relaxed in the interests of aerodynamics, emissions, safety and driver accommodation.

The new range includes the XF, broadly similar in size to the current Super Space Cab, together with the XG, which has an extra 330mm of length behind the B-pillar, and the XG+ which adds another 200mm of roof height to the equation. The result is 12.5cu m of interior space, 14% more than the Super Space Cab.

While the range of engines is nominally unchanged, with six choices ranging from 370hp to 530hp, their internals are substantially altered to improve efficiency, accounting for some 3% of DAF’s claimed 10%  overall improvement in efficiency. Detail changes have also been made to the TraXon driveline to improve functionality and efficiency.

DAF joins the mirror camera club with its own version which adds retractable cameras and digital front/corner cameras to the spec. A full range of the latest safety technology is fitted.

Inside, the driver gets a completely new 12in digital instrument panel as standard, with the option of a secondary 10” display for navigation and infotainment. The whole of the cab interior appears to be of a very high quality.

The new range goes on sale today, with the first customer vehicles, including right-hand drive 6x2 tractors, due to begin production in October, including at Leyland and a brand new cab factory in Belgium.

You can read the full story of the new DAF XF range in Commercial Motor next week (17 June)