Iveco has used an event organised by the Italian Chamber of Commerce last month to outline its zero-emission vehicle plans to an audience that included a range of dignitaries, notably Victorian Premier Dan Andrews and  Victorian minister for energy, environment and climate change; and solar homes, Lily D’Ambrosio.

Iveco says it began preparations for the introduction of alternative fueled vehicles in the fourth quarter last year, which it says coincided with the announcement of its Customisation and Innovation Centre (CIC), the replacement for its long time manufacturing operation at its HQ at Dandenong  in Melbourne.

The company said  the CIC has been established to assist with pre-launch development work, and it has appointed long time Iveco executive, Marco Quaranta to lead the project in his new position as strategic projects and industry relations manager.

At the event, Iveco Australia and New Zealand managing Director, Michael May and Marco Quaranta, detailed the company’s plans to introduce a broad range of zero emission vehicles that included light and heavy-duty models with both battery and fuel cell options.

Iveco says the first of these models will be a new generation of the Daily Electric van, which will be released in Europe later this year. Iveco says it  hopes to begin local testing of the first Australian electric models early next year, using its CIC for ‘localisation’, validation and customer testing.

Iveco has a key shareholding in hydrogen fuel cell EV start up Nikola, and  is gearing up to start manufacturing battery electric trucks at an Iveco owned plant in Europe. There is no mention of Nikola in the company’s release about its zero emission plans, however in the photo captions issued with the statement it does say that  the joint venture Nikola Tre zero emission truck is on Iveco Australia’s wish list.

However the company says it’s expected that a broad selection of models across various weight classes, will gradually join Iveco’s Euro6 internal combustion product line-up across a three-year period.

Marco Quaranta said that preparation for the company’s zero-emission product roll-out were progressing well.

“There is considerable preparation involved in introducing such new technologies to market,” Quaranta said.

“We’re working through a detailed pre-launch process to ensure a smooth roll-out of these vehicles – we want to make sure the zero-emission range exceeds customer expectations both in terms of day-to-day operational performance, but more broadly across all facets of vehicle servicing, maintenance and support.”

As zero-emission roll-out preparations progress, Iveco says it  has formed partnerships with several local organisations and bodies, tertiary institutions and Government departments, who it says will assist on this exciting journey.