Towards Sustainable Transport Solutions

Towards Sustainable Transport Solutions

DAF Trucks plans when moving forward towards sustainable transport solutions were on the agenda when Harald Seidel, Global DAF Trucks President, spoke to Gianenrico Giffini, President of the International Truck of the Year Jury about the move towards zero carbon.

Despite growing interest from transport operators in electric trucks, and availability of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by OEMs, there are still major challenges for its high-volume adoption.

“Having BEV trucks available is only one part of the story,” says Harald. “Availability of charging infrastructure and cost parity will be the key factors for success. If I’m driving a long haul route, where can I charge? If I’m willing to invest in electric chargers at my depot, when can I get my connection to the grid?

“These are the questions that transport operators are asking. We need massive investments in green energy infrastructure, and that requires a masterplan at the European level. To give you an indication of what’s required: in order to meet the 2030 CO2 reduction goals set by the EU for the truck industry, we would need the same amount of green electricity as 17 million households.

“Three years later we would need double that amount. And that’s only for the transport industry. Seven years from now we are going to need 280,000 chargers of which will be 50,000 public charging stations. The adoption curve of battery electric trucks by transport companies will depend on the speed of these infrastructure investments. DAF is committed and ready for zero emission trucks. To solve the chicken-and-egg scenario, we need a concerted effort with local governments and the energy sector to make it happen.”

Image: DAF Trucks

Challenge too big to bet on one horse

‘A range of technologies for a range of applications’ is DAF’s credo when it comes to sustainable road transport. Apart from battery electric trucks, DAF is investing in hydrogen as a promising zero emission technology,” says Harald.

“Hybrid technology is also interesting, to de-risk the infrastructure challenges, when combined with HVO and e-Fuels.

“HVO is a biodiesel that is made from waste products such as vegetable oil and waste fat. It is ready to use in existing trucks, it supports a circular economy and brings an immediate 90 per cent CO2 reduction benefit.

“The fact is, we are going to need all available technologies to decarbonise road transport: HVO, hybrid, electric and hydrogen. The sustainability challenge is too big to bet on one horse, we need all the horses in the race.”


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