A container hinterland logistics network, Contargo is currently in operation in Germany using electric DAFs for hauling containers. These fully electric field test vehicles collect and deliver containers at the inland Port of Duisburg in Germany.
The initiative has awarded the ‘Green Truck Logistics Solution Award’, an accolade for the deployment of promising upcoming technologies for innovative, sustainable logistics around Europe.
“When awarding the Green Truck Awards, a convincing concept with demonstrable practical relevance makes the difference,” said Gerhard Grünig, editor-in-chief of TRUCKER magazine, who made the award. “Using the two DAF CF Electric vehicles, the jury was impressed that Contargo was not simply looking to roll out a flagship project for the sake of its media profile, but had spent around two years in preparation analysing with great precision whether electric vehicles are commercially viable in the 44 tonne gross vehicle weight range.”
The two fully electric DAF trucks working for Contargo are part of an extensive field test of multiple trucks in Europe and the first electric CFs to be put into operation in Germany. The DAF CF Electric is a 100 per cent electric 4×2 prime mover developed for operations of up to 37 tonnes in urban areas.
The vehicle is based on the DAF CF, with a fully electric drive using VDL’s E-Power Technology. The core of its intelligent powertrain is a 210kW electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery available with a current total capacity of 170kWh. The CF Electric has a range of up to 100km, depending on the weight of its cargo, making it suitable for zero emissions high-volume transport in urban areas. The batteries have a 30-minute quick-charge feature, while a full charge takes just one-and-a-half hours.
“Electric trucks will be part of future urban life in Europe,” said Richard Zink, Director of Marketing and Sales and DAF Trucks Board of Management member. “The data we collect about the full electric technology and operational usage with leading parties such as Contargo will be engineered into the specifications of the final production models, ensuring that the vehicles will seamlessly satisfy the market’s needs.”
The Contargo operation is aiming for full decarbonisation by 2050. This initiative is being driven by its parent company Rhenus Trucking and this approach was underlined by Sascha Hähnke, Managing Director of Rhenus Trucking.
“Along with Contargo, we want to move in an innovative direction that no other logistics service providers have yet taken,” says Sascha. “The electric trucks are part of the first battery-powered truck fleet in Germany. By doing this, we’re making a statement in various directions that this technology has a future.”
According to the numbers assessed by the judging panel, use of the DAF CF Electric reduces carbon emissions by at least 38 per cent, even when using only electricity sourced from the usual grey-and-green energy mix.