Britain’s leading national foodservice supplier, Brakes (part of global foodservice provider, Sysco), has put to the road its first zero-emissions DAF LF Electric, for multi-temperature operations at the company’s depot in Reading. The delivery signals Sysco’s commitment to end diesel truck acquisitions by 2030. 
 
Brakes expects its new DAF LF Electric to deliver an annual CO2 saving of approximately 52-tonnes. 
 
At a special launch event on Friday 10th February, the DAF LF Electric was unveiled with specially commissioned ‘Climate Stripes’ livery (#ShowYourStripes) created by Professor of Climate Science, Ed Hawkins, at the University of Reading. The simple, yet striking, design depicts average global temperature change from 1850 to 2021 – clearly illustrating a stark increase over the past few decades. 
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The new DAF LF Electric features 'Climate Stripes' created by Professor of Climate Science, Ed Hawkins, at the University of Reading 
The DAF LF Electric, which was designed and built in Britain at Leyland Trucks in Lancashire, goes into service in the coming weeks and signals Brakes’ intention to begin a programmed move to a low-carbon fleet with electrification as the primary drive system. 
 
Despite the extra weight of the battery pack, and with its 19-tonne GVW, the DAF-Solomon- Frigoblock partnership (Frigoblock is a Thermo King brand) has worked closely to ensure the vehicle delivers an approximate 8.0-tonne payload potential, matching the figure achieved by Brakes with its current 18-tonne GVW diesel-powered DAF LF 260 fleet. The new DAF LF Electric is part of a range of fully-electric, zero-emissions trucks from the UK market-leading DAF Trucks, and joins its larger New Generation DAF XD Electric and XF Electric stablemates – available for UK operators in 4x2 tractor and 4x2 and 6x2 rigid variants. 
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Despite the extra weight of the battery pack, the vehicle delivers an approximate 8.0-tonne payload potential, matching Brakes current 18-tonne GVW diesel-powered DAF LF 260 fleet 
Brakes’ new DAF LF Electric has been specified in partnership with Solomon Commercials which supplied and installed dual-compartment bodywork, and Frigoblock with its ‘FK2’ refrigeration unit to provide two-zone temperature control; frozen at the front, and chilled at the rear of the body. The FK2 unit draws energy directly from the battery pack and will alone contribute an annual 17-tonne CO2 saving. 
 
The 19-tonne DAF LF Electric is powered by an electric motor developing 250kW nominal power (370kW peak) and nominal torque of 1,200Nm (3,700Nm peak). DAF’s latest LFP batteries provide a gross energy content of 282kWh (254 kWh effective) to give the vehicle a single charge range of 280km, ideal for urban distribution applications. The LFP battery pack comes with the peace-of-mind of a six-year warranty. 
 
DAF’s LFP batteries contain no cobalt or magnesium, offering further sustainability credentials for truck operators. 
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”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.” Head of Fleet, Paul Vernon. 
Aftersales 
DAF Trucks is accompanying sales of the LF, XD and XF Electric models with a dedicated support programme to ensure operators maximise efficiencies surrounding electric operations, including pre-sale advanced route simulation, and practical advice on ‘smart’ and efficient battery recharging. 
 
“We’re excited by the potential of the new DAF LF Electric,” said Paul Vernon, Head of Fleet at Brakes, “we’ve worked closely with DAF, Solomon Commercials and Frigoblock, and the result is a truck with an exacting specification. We have a fleet which totals over 1,500 vehicles and around 75% are DAF LFs, circa 1000, so we are very well aware of the trucks’ credentials – outstanding manoeuvrability, a practical, comfortable cab for drivers and, of course, great reliability. We’re expecting no different from the LF Electric. The distribution sector is starting to embrace zero-emissions,” he said, “and we’re confident the new DAF gives us the right solution to provide productivity benefits. 
 
“With so many DAFs on our fleet,” he added, “back-up is crucial and DAF has always given us fantastic support – particularly at dealer level through supplying DAF Dealer, Chassis Cab. This is especially important as we transition to the new electric product. To have the expertise of the UK’s market-leading truck manufacturer in support provides us with a huge amount of confidence.” 
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