When one takes into account the need for diversification of energy supply and the great care that must be taken over the quality of the air in urban areas, it is clear that alternative fuels have an important role to play in our future.
In this area, Iveco has always attributed great importance to natural gas, and now offers the most extensive range of CNG vehicles on the market. The use of natural gas vehicles is an investment not only of great social value but also of economic value to the customer. As well as having a lower cost and giving lower consumption, in many countries methane propulsion also benefits from purchasing incentives.
Natural gas vehicle technology is an Italian tradition and, since the 80s, has been given priority in Iveco’s research into the production of ecological vehicles. Iveco is the European leader in the production and sales of these vehicles: trucks, vans and buses designed for all kinds of work and, in particular, for urban use.
Even though Iveco vehicles with Diesel engines that conform to the European EEV standards already have very low emission levels, those with natural gas engines already approach and sometimes surpass the limits in the proposed Euro VI standards, which will be applied to heavy goods vehicles and buses as from 2013. This means that Iveco is already in possession of the technology necessary for the next decade.
Furthermore, the stoichiometric combustion system (with chemically correct air-fuel ratio) chosen for FPT natural gas engines with a 3-way exhaust catalyst, has reliability and durability characteristics that have been tested and tried for years on light transport vehicles. What distinguishes this system from others is that it is able to adapt itself according to the composition of the gas used so that the engine maintains its low emission levels without affecting performance.
The positive ignition makes engine noise emissions lower than that of Diesel engines of the same size. According to trials conducted in the EU Fideus project (Freight Innovative Delivery of Goods in European Urban Space), these vehicles are particularly suitable for night use in urban areas, without requiring any further noise insulation measures.
Iveco CNG engined vehicles are already capable of using bio-methane, the most available of truly renewable fuels offering outstanding global warming credentials. Iveco is also conducting vehicle trails with Hydro-Methane, a mixture of natural gas with 30% of the total being hydrogen. With sustainably sourced hydrogen, this gas offers even further reductions on emitted CO2.