BETT - Battery Electric Truck Trial

EV Rally Tales

One of the BETT trucks was entered into the EV Rally, read about how it fared over more than 1,200 miles between all the capital cities of the UK.

Key Points

The EV Rally was a demonstration of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure organised by the Greenfleet magazine in July 2023.

Over 50 vehicles participated in the rally covering more than 1,200 miles between all 5 capital cities in the British Isles over 5 days. Starting in Cardiff, it travelled through London to Edinburgh, across the Irish sea to Belfast, and finished in Dublin.

This year it included HGVs for the first time, and in a joint team with Cenex, DAF entered their 19 tonne LF Electric to demonstrate the capabilities of zero emission goods vehicles.

The truck achieved the longest daily distances yet seen in the BETT trial which demonstrated the full capabilities of the vehicle. Public chargers were essential for such a long jourmey, yet chargers appropriate for HGV use remain scarce which required planning and ingenuity to stretch each charge to its maximum through careful driving. As a result the truck achieved excellent efficiency, achieving equivalent full-battery ranges of 300 km nearly every day.



Distance (km)

Energy Used (kWh)

Efficiency (km/kWh)

Equivalent Range (km)


Cardiff to Nottingham






Nottingham to Edinburgh






Edinburgh to Belfast






Belfast to Newry






Newry to Dublin





Day 1: Cardiff to Nottingham

Starting at the Cardiff Barrage, the rally had a short stop in Bristol before proceeding along the M4 towards London and a checkpoint outside Wembley Stadium. Turning north, there were short stops in Kettering and Leicester with the day finishing in Nottingham. The truck travelled 525 km, a record daily distance for a BETT vehicle. It used 397 kWh, which was possible with 2 stops at public charging stations for rapid charging.

The start of the rally at Cardiff Barrage

Being a little creative with parking bays while using a public charger on the M4

The truck outside Wembley Stadium.

Day 2: Nottingham to Edinburgh

Heading north to Scotland, the truck was soon reunited with 2 other vehicles from the BETT trial while visiting the YPO depot in Wakefield. Stops for charging at a First Bus depot in York and a public station near Newcastle enabled the vehicle to achieve another new distance record of 573 km in a single day while consuming 443 kWh.

The truck at the YPO depot with 2 other BETT vehicles.

The truck passing the Angel of the North

The truck squeezing under the canopy of a public charger

Day 2 in Depth: Charging and Driving

The BETT vehicles are fitted with telemetry loggers allowing us to see in detail the distance travelled and battery state of charge (SOC) throughout each day. The graph below shows how the vehicle managed the furthest daily distance of any BETT vehicle on day 2.

The truck started its day with a full charge thanks to an overnight charge at Nottingham City Council’s Eastcroft depot, who kindly offered us one of their chargers usually used by electric refuse collection vehicles.

During the day the vehicle charged 5 times, taking advantage of opportunities that arose. But as the SOC only dropped below 50% once, the vehicle could have easily stretched each leg if the infrastructure was available.

Big charges at First Bus in York and a public charger in Washington were bookended by shorter charges at the YPO depot in Wakefield and a public car park just outside of Edinburgh, before a short journey to the hotel ready for the start of day 3.

Day 3: Edinburgh to Belfast

An early start was needed to get to the ferry bound for Ireland on time. This leg from Edinburgh to Stranraer was only 228 km, well within the capabilities of the truck on a single charge, but a quick charge in Glasgow was completed to ensure there was enough in the battery for the following day's challenging journey through Northern Ireland. 183 kWh were consumed in total.

The truck in front of the Forth Road Bridge at the start of the day.

In front of the Titanic Museum in Belfast at the end of the day.

Day 4: Belfast to Newry

The penultimate day took in 298 km of the Northern Irish countryside including a visit to the Giant’s Causeway before finishing in Newry, just north of the border with the Republic of Ireland. Completed on a single charge using just 224 kWh, the vehicle well exceeded expectations.

The truck visits a DAF dealership.

Taking in the beautiful Northern Irish scenery.

Squeezing down a narrow country road.

Day 5: Newry to Dublin

The final day saw the rally enter the Republic of Ireland as it covered the final 315 km before the finish line in Dublin, consuming 263 kWh.

The truck in front of the Mountlucas wind farm.

Team Cenex-DAF in front of their vehicles at the finish line.

Rally Report

The following report is from Phil Moon, Marketing Manager for DAF and one of the drivers of the truck during the rally, who describes the excitement and challenges of travelling 1,938 km in an electric truck.

Team DAF Cenex

Taking one of the BETT LF Electric trucks on the EV Rally seemed like a fun idea from the word go. It also seemed like a challenge, but it wasn’t until we got into the detail of range capabilities versus daily distances that we started to understand how much of a challenge recharging would be. Delivering electric trucks to customers or events is generally easily achieved with a mobile AC charger based at a DAF Dealer, but it was clear that we would want to use 150 kW DC chargers to avoid lengthy charging sessions; especially on the first two days of the event when we would be covering more than 300 miles (500 km) per day. (It’s worth remembering that most distribution trucks of this type wouldn’t normally cover so much ground in one day and the average daily distance for the BETT trucks is less than 100km as can be seen on the BETT Stats page). And we didn’t know whether we could actually get a truck onto any of the public DC chargers on route, which are designed with cars in mind, maybe vans at a push.

Despite these concerns, enthusiasm from within both DAF and Cenex was high and, with the opportunity to showcase the LF Electric, as well as bring more attention to the Battery Electric Truck Trial, the decision to participate was made.


The uncertainty around charger point access for the 9.1 metre long and 2.5 metre wide LF meant we adopted a ‘grazing’ strategy around charging; picking up charge whenever convenient rather than trying to ‘stretch’ the vehicle range to its maximum. Although multiple smaller charges can add to overall journey time, we never felt range anxiety, and the shorter breaks seemed to pass quickly as we grabbed a snack and were soon on our way. When we did run a whole day without a top up on day four in Northern Ireland, the inevitably long charging time was not only frustrating for us, but also for the other rally teams who were trailing us on the day! (It’s worth a mention here that charging stations aimed at drivers on longer journeys really ought to have refreshments and toilets to make for a pleasant wait and to avoid having to nip behind the shrubbery).

It’s a squeeze

In the event we were fortunate to be able to squeeze the truck onto charging bays helped by the comradery of other EV users who were always willing to make a bit more space for us – although I’m not sure they’d be so accommodating if seeing a big electric truck weren’t such a novelty! Or if there was a queue of them! It was obvious however that life for drivers of larger vehicles – not only trucks, but also vans and cars towing trailers – could be made much easier with some simple adjustments to charger station design such as slightly wider and longer bays, longer cables capable of accessing both side of the vehicle and higher canopies. Ultimately the goods transport sector will need dedicated infrastructure but, in the same way some local petrol stations have an HGV specific diesel pump with a bit more space around it, so too could charging stations. Identifying such large-vehicle accessible chargers in the many apps available, would complete the picture.

On days two and three, we included charging stops courtesy of BETT participant YPO in Wakefield and First Bus in York and then in Glasgow. These charger installations designed with trucks and busses in mind are great exemplars of what could be achieved by logistics companies looking at electrification of their fleets. In Glasgow we saw how simply wrapping the cables in a high visibility sheath makes them easy to see and avoid. We need to share such knowledge and experience, and by opening such facilities up to outside users, utilisation can be extended around the clock as most buses are out on their routes during the day. 


Despite shorter daily distances on the island of Ireland, the recharging strategy was no less considered, as the charging network there is much less mature. Day four saw us take on the scenic and rural roads around Northern Ireland without recharging until close to the end of the day in Newry.  Focussing on efficient driving and making full use of regenerative braking through the rolling countryside saw us achieve our most fuel-efficient day, achieving 1.33 km/kWh. With an effective battery capacity of 254 kWh the LF Electric could in theory have covered nearly 340 km that day, but we should admit that an aversion to customs paperwork meant we were unladen throughout the rally.

As Dublin neared, we’d become rather blasé as the LF continued to perform without a hiccough and we’d become more confident in being able to find suitable charging. There were issues connecting to some chargers, but our ‘grazing’ strategy meant we had plenty in reserve to handle any slight diversion to an alternative. Of course, drivers on regular routes become accustomed to where and when to charge and although electric truck operation certainly demands planning, that’s part and parcel of modern-day logistics and, with opportunity charging at collection and delivery points a real possibility, even longer daily routes needn’t mean bigger batteries.  And that’s a big consideration as batteries not only make up a lot of the additional cost of electrics, they also take up chassis space and eat into vehicle payload.

The Finish Line

The EV Rally met its key objective showcasing electric vehicles of all types; and the two participating trucks certainly seemed to grab their share of the attention. We’d decided early on that to capitalise on the event we wanted to involve as many people as we could from within the DAF team. To share our story and, in so doing, to raise awareness of BETT, we also had a small support team including both DAF and Cenex team members and we hooked up with videographers along the route. This enabled us to produce content for social media and to share it almost immediately. With the combined voice of all rally participants, it felt like we’d taken over the social media airwaves for the duration of the EV Rally, and the conversations continue. Job well done! Oh, and it was fun too.