By starting field trials of its CF Hybrid, DAF is looking at extending the promise of zero emissions in the city and long range outside urban areas.

Story by Team CV


The recent changes in customer demand and a weaker outlook for the global economy due to the coronavirus pandemic may have compelled PACCAR Inc. to suspend truck and engine production facilities at its factories worldwide through much of April 2020. The CV major in February put its CF Hybrid truck on field trials. It did so with the aim to gain daily use experience and extend the promise of zero emission in the city and long range outside urban areas. Lending two CF Hybrids to Dutch transport operator Peter Appel to supply supermarkets in the heart of the Netherlands, DAF kicked-off the trials with much confidence about the ability of the trucks to pass the trials with flying colours.
Showcasing the CF Hybrid at the Hannover CV show, Germany, in 2018, along with the LH Electric and CF Electric in a bid to showcase its ability to innovate as well as look at how the future of trucking would look like, the CF Hybrid has been a key innovative product since the time it was born on the drawing board. Drawing from the conventional CF, which is DAF’s flagship product and designed for a wide variety of applications, the CF Hybrid is powered by an 85 kWh battery pack, which allows for a full electric, zero emission range of 30 to 50 kilometers, depending on the Gross Combination Weight. This setup is aimed at urban city operation. For long distance travel, the innovative truck is powered by the clean and efficient PACCAR MX-11 diesel engine, where the hybrid technology provides additional fuel savings thanks to the smart energy management. Using clean diesel technology out of town thus and being 100 per cent electric in urban areas, the two XF Hybrids with Peter Appel are contributing to the operator’s efforts to reduce CO2.

Combining the best of both worlds, according to a DAF source, the CF Hybrid’s PACCAR MX-11 10.8-litre engine produces 450 hp, and is located longitudinally at the front in what could be termed as a fairly conventional set up. It routes power through a dedicated ZF TraXon gearbox for hybrid drivelines. The ZF electric motor that can produce a maximum power of 175 hp is coupled to the gearbox, realising a well-engineered hybrid arrangement that is compact and reliable. Ensuring long range and flexibility outside urban areas, and a silent as well as zero emission operation in cities, the two CF hybrid trucks on trial with Peter Appel have added to its fleet of 680 trucks. Drawing much attention as they go about ferrying cargo, the two trucks are providing DAF immense knowledge and data to further its hybrid strategy. What would perhaps be the most interesting part of this process is the real-time display of charging abilities by the trucks. The 85 kWh battery pack on either truck can be charged by the diesel engine during on-highway operations, and by using a DC charger at a charging location. Either truck is also designed with a fast charge capability that takes 30 minutes for a full charge and only 20 minutes for a charge of up to 80 per cent.

Recharging while driving or at charging station
On the move, and as the truck’s governing system detects that the battery’s charging has fallen beyond a certain point, the diesel engine is activated to propel the truck. The process of diesel engine coming in also takes place under certain load and road conditions, and at what speed the truck is moving (speeds outside cities are often higher to activate the diesel engine). With the diesel engine propelling the truck, the electric motor functions as a generator and delivers energy to the battery pack. While a combination where the diesel engine and the electric motor work in unison to provide enough propelling power and realise CO2 saving is also there, the CF Hybrid is also equipped with ability to fast charge. This function however is not being currently tried out, claimed the DAF source. He said that their endeavor would be to explore that charging technology too in the future as it would help them gather more information.
On a full charge, either CF hybrid truck in the Peter Appel fleet can travel between 30 and 50 km on electricity. If the traffic conditions allow for such an operation, or if the desired mileage is achieved, is something that neither Peter Appel nor DAF may be in a position to reveal as of now, the fact is, the data the two trucks continue to generate is certain to help DAF further fine tune its hybrid strategy. Mentioned the DAF source that a lot depends on the amount of load the truck-trailer combination is subjected to. It may not be the same time and again. The nature of the cargo may vary. What is being looked into therefore is if the electric range of 30 to 50 km is enough for an urban passage given the GCW of each of the two CF Hybrid truck-trailers. So far the trials have indicated that the 30 to 50 km electric range is more than enough to drive into and out of urban areas without producing any tailpipe emissions.

Smart energy managementIf the PACCAR MX-11 diesel engine offers a long range outside urban areas, the hybrid technology onboard either of the two CF Hybrid trucks ensures extra fuel savings through smart energy management. The energy that is generated by the engine brake as well as by the ‘Down Hill Speed Control’ is used by the electric motor to support the diesel engine. This is beneficial both in terms of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Mentioned Marcel Pater, Fleet Manager, Peter Appel Transport, that together with their client Albert Heijn, they are always looking at ways to reduce the CO2 footprint, and the two CF Hybrid trucks have provided them yet another opportunity to do so. “As part of our 680 truck fleet, the two CF Hybrids, said Pater, are proving advantageous for urban distribution as well as for longer routes. Peter Appel is exploring the opportunities provided by the two hybrid trucks when it comes to the needs of their client. It is also exploring new opportunities in distribution given some of the unique abilities of the two hybrid trucks within Netherlands as well as outside of Netherlands.

Daily use
Providing a new insight into the application of new edge technologies to tackle the challenge of climate change, the two CF Hybrid 4×2 tractor-trailer combinations are used daily by Peter Appel. Highlighting the fact that no single technology will apply to all in the future, the two CF Hybrid 4×2 trucks are proving to be as reliable and dependable as their conventional brethren. Expressed Ron Borsboom, Executive Director – Product Development, DAF, “For a cleaner future, there is no one single technological solution for the broad spectrum of transport requirements.” “It is therefore that we are testing different technologies,” he averred. Stating that electrification is a good alternative for urban distribution, clean diesel technology is an excellent option for longer distances, in part due to new types of fuel, explained Borsboom. He informed that for the long term they are looking closely at hydrogen as well. “With the field test of the CF Hybrid, we want to assess not only its electric/diesel technology performance but also how suitable it is in terms of daily use by our clients,” Borsboom
signed off.

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