DAF has begun field-testing its CF Hybrid tractor with the help of Dutch transport firm Peter Appel Transport to assess the performance of the hybrid technology in daily use.
The haulier, which runs 680 heavy goods vehicles, began using two of the trucks last month for trips to supermarkets in urban areas in the Netherlands. They will operate at up to 37 tonnes GVW.
The CF Hybrid features Paccar’s 10.8-litre, 450hp MX-11 diesel engine and a ZF electric motor producing a peak of 175hp, along with a ZF TraXon transmission for hybrid powertrains.
In diesel operation, the electric motor is used as a generator, charging the 85kWh battery pack. When fully charged, this provides the CF Hybrid with an electric range of 30km to 50km, allowing it to drive into and out of urban areas in zero-emissions mode.
Outside such areas, energy generated by the engine brake and the Down Hill Speed Control is used by the electric motor to support the diesel engine.
“We are always looking for ways to reduce our CO2 footprint,” said Marcel Pater, fleet manager at Peter Appel Transport. “While electric trucks are ideal for urban distribution, the hybrid technology is preferable for longer routes. In town, the DAF CF Hybrid operates fully electric, and the truck’s diesel engine means it can travel to and from the different distribution centres within the Netherlands and abroad without any problems.”
For now, drivers of the CF Hybrid need to manually select electric or diesel mode but a geofencing system for automatic switching is currently being worked on, said a DAF spokesperson.