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DAF Trucks Plans Moving Forward

Harald Seidel, Global DAF Trucks President, speaks to Gianenrico Giffini, President of the International Truck of the Year Jury about the DAF Trucks plans moving forward towards sustainable transport solutions.

In summing up his view of the future development of technology to reduce carbon emissions to zero, Harald Seidel says, “We need all the horses in the race.” DAF has a clear-cut vision when it comes to sustainable transport solutions, “There is no one-size-fits-all technology that meets all demands.”

The interview with DAF’s President took place in the historical boardroom at the DAF head office in Eindhoven. The wooden panelling, the decorative chandeliers, complete with modern LED lightbulbs, and the beautifully finished ceiling, all illustrate the company’s rich heritage.

“If these walls could speak,” Harald Seidel begins, ‘We would learn a lot about board decisions taken over the past few decades, going back to the 1950s when the company was still headed by its founders Hub and Wim van Doorne. And look where we are today. DAF has developed into a leading European truck manufacturer. Last year we built over 70,000 medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, a record in our 95-year history.”

Bigger Fish to Fry

Harald Seidel says that DAF’s vision and mission have been redefined to include technology leadership, customer success and sustainable transport solutions.

“The latter goes further than just achieving the lowest CO2 emissions with our New Generation DAF trucks,” says Harald. “We are committed to contribute to a more sustainable world by providing even cleaner transport solutions to our customers. Therefore, developing and marketing alternative drivelines is a key priority.

“Yes, new Euro 7 legislation has been announced, but that would mean a very big investment for a relatively small environmental gain. It is far more effective to replace the Euro 3, Euro 4 and Euro 5 vehicles on the road, instead of pushing the industry towards the Euro 7 norm by the end of the decade, when electrification will also come into play. We have bigger fish to fry.”

From dozens to hundreds per quarter

“DAF has always been a frontrunner in sustainable transport solutions,” stresses DAF’s president. “In 2010 we were really ahead of our time with the first hybrid vehicle. In fact, we were even way too early. However, we obtained extensive experience with electrification, which benefited the development of our New Generation DAF electric vehicles for which a brand new assembly plant has been commissioned. This year we will start delivery of the first of these new electric vehicles to customers, with production ramping up to thousands of vehicles per year.”

 

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