But can you afford one?

It is great news that UK operators can now order a fully electric, right hand drive rigid or tractor unit from the UK’s market leading truck manufacturer.  Whether there are queues of early adopting buyers ready to take on the expense of one is quite another question.

DAF are always realistic – they know that there won’t be orders for thousands of these trucks in 2021, but the availability of these trucks from March 2021 shows that they believe that we are all heading in this direction eventually.  Simply the fact that the trucks are available to order is a huge step in the direction of zero tailpipe emission urban distribution.

DAF CF Electric Refuse Truck working in the Netherlands
DAF CF Electric Refuse Truck working in the Netherlands

So, what can you actually order?

There’s a 37 tonne gross train weight 4×2 tractor unit with the equivalent of a 280HP engine and it weighs in at around 9 tonnes GVW, compared to around 7 tonnes for a diesel powered CF300 4×2 tractor unit.

The 6×2 rigid comes in a choice of four wheelbases from 3.8 to 4.8 metres and weighs in at a punchy 10 tonnes – the comparable diesel CF290 FAN weighs in around the 7 to 7.5 tonne mark.

Tried & Tested

These electric trucks are not totally new.  DAF has carried out successful in-service trials with operators in Germany and the Netherlands and are now receiving upgraded LFP (Lithium Ferro (iron) Phosphate) battery technology.  This means that the CF Electric destined for the UK shores will deliver significant operational benefits over its previous battery pack installation.  This includes a single-charge range of up to 220km and an impressive weight reduction of 700kg.

The new battery pack delivers 350kWh (315kWh effective capacity) and is capable of full recharge in 75-minutes when connected to a 250kW charging station. Putting that into perspective, the Jaguar iPace has a 90kW battery and takes a good seven hours to fully charge on a domestic charger.

The battery-powered CF is no stranger to the UK, as it made its UK debut at the 2019 CV Show, where a 4×2 tractor unit was exhibited on loan from Dutch operator, Simon Loos.

A number of CF Electric 6×2 rigids fitted with refuse collection bodies have also been operating in the Netherlands, and proving ideally suited to waste collection duties. The 6×2 rigid chassis is, of course, also aimed squarely at the urban distribution sector.

Councils, get out your Chequebooks

Fundamentally, the DAF CF Electric offers a compelling proposition for organisations committed to improving air quality and addressing climate change. With the introduction of its BEV technology to the UK market, we assume that DAF Trucks will be looking to local councils to chalk up the first orders.

The DAF CF Electric 6×2 rigid features DAF’s ‘FAN’ axle configuration comprising a steer, drive and lifting rear-steer tag-axle, with DAF’s latest Electro-Hydraulic Steering (EHS) system on the rearmost axle to assist manoeuvrability.

The CF Electric 4×2 tractor unit at 37-tonnes GCW provides emissions-free solutions for a range of inter-urban truck-and-trailer applications, while the 6×2 rigid is expected to appeal primarily to waste collection and city distribution operations.


DAF Trucks is accompanying sales of the new CF Electric with a dedicated support programme to ensure operators maximise BEV efficiencies, including pre-sale advanced route simulation, and practical advice on ‘smart’ and efficient battery recharging.

“We’re really excited at the prospect of bringing the CF Electric to UK operators,” said David Price, DAF Trucks’ Municipal Sales Manager with responsibility for sale of DAF electric vehicles in the UK, “Interest at the CV Show last year was extremely favourable, and feedback from a group of demanding customers on the Continent provides further encouragement that we have a very capable truck well suited to the UK. Safety, reliability and, of course, productivity, are critical in any new product development,” he said, “and we’re confident that the CF Electric ticks these boxes, alongside the BEV’s very obvious environmental benefits.”

DAF CF Electric | ‘FT’ tractor — Technical specifications

DAF CF Electric 4x2 Tractor Unit
  • Chassis: 4×2
  • Wheelbase: 380cm
  • Weight tractor: 9,000 kg
  • Electric motor: 210 kW
  • Torque: 2000 Nm
  • Battery capacity: 350 kWh (315 effective capacity)
  • Range fully charged vehicle: up to 220 km
  • Quick charge batteries: 75 minutes (at 250 kW)

DAF CF Electric | ‘FAN’ rigid — Technical specifications

DAF CF Electric 6x2 Rigid
  • Chassis: 6×2, trailing axle
  • Wheelbase: 380/420/460/480cm
  • Weight rigid: 10,200 kg
  • Electric motor: 210 kW
  • Torque: 2,000 Nm
  • Battery capacity: 350 kWh (315 effective capacity)
  • Range fully charged vehicle: up to 220 km
  • Quick charge batteries: 75 minutes (at 250 kW)