Iveco Group communicates that plans are underway on behalf of its IVECO BUS brand, a leading manufacturer of mass-transit and premium buses and coaches, to apply 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). The aim is 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.
The investment will 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 specialised 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. 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. 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.
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.
Through this project, IVECO BUS and FPT Industrial will apply their exceptional technologies as they make a significant contribution to the energy and ecological transition in the mass passenger transport segment, relaunching the competitiveness of the Italian bus segment.
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.”