Iveco has announced its intention to resume bus production in Italy. Among other things, battery and fuel cell buses will be assembled at the Iveco plant in Foggia and engineering and production capacities for batteries will be set up in Turin.
Iveco stopped producing buses in Italy in 2011 – at that time the manufacturer still belonged to Fiat Industrial, which later merged with the Italian-American company CNH Industrial. However, Iveco separated from the former parent company in January 2022.
The plan of the company, which is now independent again, is to assemble the buses in Foggia in southern Italy – but chassis and frames are not to be produced locally, but sourced from other European plants. According to Iveco, the necessary components will be “largely” purchased from Italian suppliers, but Iveco does not name names.
The plan has not yet been finalised, however, as Iveco is still waiting for a funding commitment. The plant conversion is to be supported with funds from an EU-financed restructuring plan; the corresponding application has been submitted to the Italian Ministry for Economic Development, according to Iveco. Specifically, funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) are involved; the manufacturer does not confirm details on this. Reuters news agency, citing a source familiar with the matter, writes that the funding should cover up to 25 per cent of the expected investment.
If Iveco receives the funding, production of the electric buses is expected to start as early as spring 2023. “This project will … play a leading role in the urgently needed renewal process of Italy’s fleet for local public transport,” says Domenico Nucera, head of Iveco’s bus business.
The manufacturer does not specify in the announcement which models will be assembled in Foggia in the future. Among other things, Iveco currently has the twelve-metre E-Way solo bus with battery-electric drive in its programme, and an electric city and intercity bus called Iveco Bus Crossway LE Electric is to be presented later this year.
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