Since last week, the Royal Netherlands Army has started using an electric truck from the VDL Groep as part of a pilot. This was handed over to Commander Land Forces Lieutenant General Martin Wijnen at the Army headquarters in Utrecht on 5 August.
The Royal Netherlands Army will use the electric truck for domestic transport assignments. The aim is to map out the operational feasibility of electric transport within the army. The study is being conducted by the ‘210 Regional Transport Company of the Supply & Transport Command’ (B&TCo). In addition, the Technology Department of the Matlogco mainly focuses on battery technology, energy management and maintenance of electric vehicles.
The VDL Groep and the army have been working together for a little over a year on joint innovation and knowledge sharing in the field of energy management and battery technology. This also resulted in the trial with the E-truck.
“We want to be a smart and technologically advanced organization that realizes sustainable effects in times of crisis and peace. E-mobility and sustainable energy supply are important parts of this,” Wijnen said.
Willem van der Leegte, president-director of the VDL Groep: “In this way, the army and the Dutch high-quality manufacturing industry reinforce each other. VDL is a forerunner in the field of electrification of heavier vehicles. It is great that we can do a trial with the use of our electric truck in our own country.”
The energy transition is not just a task for Wijnen. He is also convinced that it must happen: “Scarcity and pollution are prime sources of conflict and disaster. So we have to make the switch and take our social responsibility. At the same time, we must fulfill NATO’s capability goals to cope with the problems of ‘now’ and the near future. This collaboration helps. We are open to any party that wants to work with us on innovation.”
According to van Wijnen, the army is interesting for market parties in many respects: “If only because it is a strong recommendation for a product if it has proven itself for military use.”