Brakes accelerates electric fleet transition with new Daf LF

Brakes has taken delivery of a new Daf LF electric truck that has been converted to support refrigerated food distribution.

The new 19-tonne vehicle was developed by Solomon Commercials in collaboration with Brakes, DAF, and Frigoblock.

It is fitted with a 282kW (254kWh useable) battery, giving a range of 174 miles.

The electric motor develops 335hp (496hp peak) and nominal torque of 1,200Nm (3,700Nm peak).

Paul Vernon, head of fleet at Brakes, said: “We’re excited by the potential of the new DAF LF Electric, we’ve worked closely with DAF, Solomon Commercials and Frigoblock, and the result is a truck with an exacting specification.

“The distribution sector is starting to embrace zero-emissions and we’re confident the new DAF gives us the right solution to provide productivity benefits.”

Brakes is part of the global foodservice provider Sysco. Its UK fleet totals more than 1,500 vehicles, around 75% of which are DAF LFs.

Solomon designed the 8.5-metre body to minimise drag and optimise range while also considering the payload flexibility requirements of the operator.

The vehicle delivers an approximate 8.0-tonne payload potential, matching the figure achieved by Brakes with its current 18-tonne diesel-powered DAF LF 260 fleet

The body also includes a specifically designed tail-lift warning system, multi-point camera system, audio warning technologies and side infills to improve pedestrian and road user safety. It is wrapped in a specially commissioned ‘Climate Stripes’ livery created by Professor of Climate Science, Ed Hawkins, at the University of Reading.

Brakes’ new vehicle also incorporates the Frigoblock FK2, which enables the vehicle to provide dual-zone temperature-controlled compartments, a frozen section toward the front of the body and a chilled one to the rear.

Frigoblock’s FK2 unit draws energy directly from the truck’s battery and contributes to an annual CO2 saving of approximately 52-tonnes.

Ian Lang, sales manager at Solomon Commercials, added: “We’re very proud to have been approached to partner with Brakes, DAF and Frigoblock on this unique project. The team at Brakes had very specific requirements, so our technical team and partners set about designing an innovative solution that is ideally suited to meet their needs in terms of safety, practicality, and efficiency.

“Customers are increasingly looking to introduce carbon neutral policies and minimise the impact of their vehicles on the environment. Our technical team has been working with industry partners to ensure we have the innovations that help them achieve their objectives. The transition to zero-emission vehicles is picking up pace, and working with our partners, we’re well-placed to deliver the required solutions.”

A fleet of 20 Daf LF Electric trucks have entered service with a range of public bodies as part of a Department for Transport (DfT) funded project, the Battery Electric Truck Trial (BETT).

The trucks are now entering day-to-day operations with local authorities and the NHS, while at the same time gathering real-time data; the results from which will be used in an interactive website to inform future fleet operator buying decisions.

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