Iveco Bus is applying to European funds in order to “initiate manufacturing investments and Research & Development activities that will capitalise on the skills and products of the national automotive supply chain, with particular focus on the dedicated component sector”, Iveco Group says.
Being more specific, installation of new lines for assembly of zero emission and low emission buses is under consideration for Foggia plant.
The brand is applying for access to a Development Contract of the Ministry of Economic Development as part of the opportunities made possible by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR).
Energy transition of Italian public transport
The investment is set to support the energy transition of Italy’s mass passenger transport segment, developing and introducing advanced propulsion technologies in the country. It will also relaunch the alliance between different areas of the country, since the Group’s sites involved in the project are based in Turin and Foggia, two cities specialized in the production of industrial internal combustion engines.
More specifically, the expansion of engineering and manufacturing activities for electric batteries is being studied for the plants in Piedmont, while “the company is considering the installation of new lines for the final assembly of high-tech, zero-emission (Battery Electric Vehicles ‒ BEV, and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles ‒ FCEV) and low-emission (latest-generation methane/biomethane and diesel/biodiesel) buses in Foggia“, Iveco Group says in a press note.
Iveco Bus – FPT Industrial for e-buses in Italy
In short, the initial manufacture of these new buses will be launched in the other Group plants that are already dedicated to Iveco Bus production (FPT Industrial is going to assemble battery packs in Turin). It will then be continued and enriched with value added technology in Foggia, by means of alternative propulsion systems produced in Turin and hydrogen fuel cells. Production will be completed in Foggia with additional components largely supplied by the national automotive mechanics supply chain.
The Research & Development and manufacturing of batteries, as well as the supply of engines for the low-emission vehicles, will be entrusted to FPT Industrial, the Group’s brand specialised in powertrain technologies and a global leader in the design, production, and sale of powertrains.
Goal of producing the first buses in spring 2023
Subject to the acceptance of the application for a Development Contract, the transition to an advanced design phase, and therefore an operational phase, would take place in 2022 with the goal of producing the first buses in spring 2023. The company’s investment also envisages the use of new dedicated competencies, acquired partly through training current employees and partly through new hires. The plan would add production and technological capacity to the brand in Europe, without affecting the development plans already in place and the production levels of the other European Iveco Bus plants.
Domenico Nucera, President of the Bus Business Unit at Iveco Group, said: “We are convinced that our proposal is sound, and we are happy to announce it today. Trusting it is accepted, this project will enable us to develop new skills, contribute to the country’s economic development, and play a leading role in the urgently needed renewal process of Italy’s fleet for local public transport.”