Now that 2023 is over, we take a look back to see the developments that have taken place in the truck world in this fascinating time as alternatively-fuelled trucks start to finally make their way onto the UK market.

New Truck Sales

Looking back to last January, the year started out with Scania announcing that they were to start selling their trucks online. The plan was to start slowly with a great deal of involvement by a human salesperson – and for a straightforward truck order taking place in Poland. Since this time there has been now news regarding the role out if this initiative, but for certain we haven’t seen a wholesale shift by truck buyers ordering new trucks online.

New Truck Launches

We had to wait until April to receive any news on new truck models and developments, when DAF announced that they had completed the ‘Construction’ range of trucks based on their new XD and XF cabs – the range called the XDC and XFC. The company took the opportunity to add an ‘Extra Robust’ version that uses a standard road-going chassis with the ‘beefed up’ version of the cabs for those operations that are ‘on-road’ but still likely to bash the cabs to pieces.

Not exactly a new truck, but a new transmission for Scania’s heavy haulage application hit the streets in ‘H’ form – beefing up the G25CM and G33CM range to become the G25CH and G33CH. The company also upgraded their cruise control system to the ‘Cruise Control with Active Prediction (CCAP)

Equally invisible, but nonetheless important, May saw MAN upgrade a range of systems to improve fuel economy and safety. Improvements to the D26 engine and new axles should bring fuel savings, whilst pedestrian detection systems, amongst others, should help vulnerable road users.

A headache for truck makers was confirmed when the EU rule makers confirmed that Euro 7 would arrive in 2025 – running alongside a target for CO2 reductions of 15% compared to 2019 values.

June saw DAF hit the news once more with the expansion of the XD range thanks to the addition of the lighter, 6.7 litre PX-7 to the options list – previously the distribution truck was only available with the larger 10.8 litre MX-11. This announcement followed on in November by DAF announcing more wheelbases and cab variants for the XD with the PX-7 engine.

The slow Summer news months started off with Mercedes new limited edition Actros L – the Edition 3. There are only 400 to be made of which just 20 are heading to the UK.

DAF announced a rebranding exercise in September with the change of the LF range to the XB range to match the revised naming convention for their larger trucks, the XD, XF and XG. Is there an XC or XE on the horizon?

The biggest announcement of the year was from Iveco with the 1 billion Euro renewed range presented in November. This included upgraders to the S-Way and Daily light commercial.

Iveco S Way model Lineup 2024
The S-Way gets greater comfort, the powerful and efficient new xCursor 13 engine, improved aerodynamics and state-of-the-art GPS predictive driving

The year closed off with DAF once more announcing an ‘Efficiency Champion’ version of their New Generation XD, XF, XG and XG+ models. These trucks will get all the bells and whistles included to optimise fuel efficiency for the MX-11 and MX-13 versions.

Electric Truck News

The start of January 2023 saw electric truck manufacturer Teva receive European Type Approval for their electric truck. The company was hoping to move some 1,000 electric trucks in 2023. Looking at the statistics from the SMMT for new truck registrations, it looks like hitting this target may be challenging at best.

Towards the end of January DAF announced the completion of the construction of a new facility to assemble their electric trucks in Eindhoven with no comment made regarding the Leyland facility in the UK. With the facility on line at the beginning of May and deliveries starting in the Summer, DAF have been able to deliver electric trucks across Europe in quantities.

Meanwhile, February saw Volvo upgrade their gas trucks from 420 and 460 to 500hp running on bio-LNG. These still need small amounts of diesel to fire up the combustion, but have a range of around 1,000kms.

Following on from Tevva’s success in January, February saw Volta trucks received European Whole Vehicle Type Approval for it s 16-tonne electric truck. The news after this time was less good for the company which had to call in the administrators in October after the failure of their battery supplier.

May saw Scania complete a successful test of a Megawatt charging system developed by ABB. This means that charging times for trucks could be halved.

Volvo claim to lead the market in electric truck sales, and it comes as little surprise after the announcement of a 1,000 vehicle electric truck deal in May.

If you had been wondering what heavy haulage operations were to do in light of the change to electric power, wonder no more as July saw Volvo sell a 74 tonnes GTW electric FH to a customer is Sweden.

August saw Iveco revealing their battery electric truck under the Iveco banner (the company previously worked with Nikola but took the joint venture over). Also revealed was the fuel cell truck with a range of up to 800kms. The company started to market the electric tractor unit towards the end of 2023.

Renault Trucks announced their electric low entry cab range in September with the 26 tonne E-Tech D-Wide 6×2 low entry with bus-style folding doors for refuse operation. Whilst December saw their manufacturing facilities producing the company’s heavy duty electric trucks – the E-Tech T and C ranges.

Mercedes was not left out of the electric truck scene in 2023, they announced that their eActros 600 is available to order – although you can’t have it until the end of 2024.

Mercedes eActros 600 2024 Model year
Does it look Like a Volvo? It’s only our opinion, but it does look like a little like a Volvo from the 1990’s?

MAN was gearing up their production facilities as they started on their construction of their battery factory in October. Timescales for operation means that it won’t be until 2025 that this facility will be on stream. In the meantime, MAN will be selling trucks in smaller volumes and has announced that sales of their eTruck was available to order from October.

Scania originally launched their regional electric truck range in 2022 and beefed the range up in October last year with the addition of the longer-haul R and S cabs with 400 or 450kW engine power.

November saw the announcement that an electric truck has won the ‘International Truck of the Year’ award – going to the Volvo FH electric.