First Iveco Group Days since the company’s launch beginning 2022
A few takes from the Beyond – Iveco Group Days event, held in Turin, Italy:
- More than 1000 guests have been onsite during the five-day event
- The location was very fascinating: the Officine Grandi Riparazioni in Turin was a large workshop for the maintenance of steam locomotives that was founded in 1895. At the time it was the largest plant in the city with 2000 workers. The site has been converted into an event and hospitality center. What could be a more appropriate venue for a get-together on the future of mobility?
- On the technical side: Diesel Progress and Diesel Progress International will soon talk to Pierpaolo Biffali, FPT Industrial’s vice president Product Engineering, for the details behind the new Hythane mixing concept that FPT Industrial (a brand of Iveco Group) has developed with Landi Renzo Group to mix natural gas and hydrogen in FPT’s natural gas engines.
- We met Anirudh Bhuwalka, CEO of India-based Blue Energy Motors, who recently signed an agreement with FPT for the supply of N67 NG gas engines, compliant with BH6 emissions standards to power the first LNG trucks in India.
Bhuwalka is an entrepreneur with a vision who founded a start-up in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis two years ago. He says he believes that the push from the Indian government to a zero-emissions mobility and the country’s 3.5-million heavy duty truck market is the ideal combination to support the launch of LNG-powered trucks.
And this is not all. You will read more about this project in one of the coming issues of Diesel Progress International. See last issue HERE
- Gerrit Marx, CEO Iveco Group, and Michael Lohscheller, President Nikola Motor, discussed the future of Nikola’s battery-electric (BEV) and fuel-cell electric (FCEV) heavy-duty trucks.
The Nikola BEV trucks are rolling out of the Phoenix, USA, plant that has a capacity of producing 2,000 trucks per year with the possibility of ramping up to 20,000 (and to 45,000 in a third phase).
The German plant in Ulm is assembling BEV trucks since September 2021 and also has a capacity of 2,000 trucks per year with expansion capability up to 10,000
Marx was very clear about the scenario surrounding the introduction of BEVs and FCEVs especially in Europe and commented that technology is not an issue.
There are two major hurdles according to him though, before a wide exploitation of these technologies could happen on our highways. Guess which is number one? The infrastructure for charging and fuel.
Marx said that given the current status, a few BEV freight trucks stopping at any fuel station across Europe to recharge their batteries at the same time would black out the local power network. As for FCEV trucks, whose fuel cell systems need very pure hydrogen, no fuel station is available all over Europe yet to fuel hydrogen at 700 bar pressure. Several such fuel stations are in development but none is operational yet.
The second hurdle is exquisitely based on money and it is the very high price tag for this type of vehicles. According to Marx, a BEV truck currently costs approximately 4 to 5 times the price of a conventional diesel truck. The FCEV vehicle tops at 4 to 5 times the price of a similar diesel truck.
It is quite needless to point out how purchasing one of these trucks is currently a statement exercise for environmental-conscious trucking companies (only those with big pockets). Marx reported that between 60 and 70% of European freight truck volume is operated by companies with less than 30 trucks, that for sure do not have the financial capability to afford these vehicles.
The conclusion is that to move in the direction of zero-emissions, the truck industry needs a comprehensive public approach that includes infrastructure and financing projects.
You can see the recording of Marx and Lohscheller intervention HERE