Truck maker Iveco is to be spun off from its parent company, farm equipment manufacturer CNH Industrial, as part of a separate business unit by 2021, subject to shareholder approval. The new company will cover the on-highway CNH brands: Iveco, Iveco Bus and Heuliez Bus, plus engine maker FPT Industrial. CNH will retain Case IH, New Holland and Steyr, together with Astra quarry trucks and Magirus fire appliances.
CNH has also announced a $250m investment to produce fuel cell and electric heavy-duty trucks with American company Nikola for the North American and European markets.
Nikola is promising operators an “all-in” lease including vehicle, service and fuel costs which will be cheaper than any comparable diesel truck. The technology will be available in cab-over and conventional designs, with Nikola con-tributing fuel-cell expertise, e-axles, inverters, independent suspension, on-board hydrogen fuel storage, over-the-air software update functionality, infotainment, vehicle-to-station communication protocols and power electronics to an Iveco-led European joint venture.
Iveco sees fuel-cell trucks as a logical next step from the natural gas market, which it currently leads with some 28,000 trucks and buses in service in Europe. Hydrogen could be extracted from liquefied natural gas at current fuelling sites to power the new generation of vehicles.
Objectives include the introduction of the Nikola Two fuel-cell-Class 8 truck for the North American market, as well as the integration of Iveco S-Way truck technology into the battery-electric powered Nikola TRE cab-over model for both the North American and European markets. In the long-term, a European joint venture will cover both battery electric vehicles and fuel-cell electric vehicles. Nikola will use Iveco’s sales, service and warranty channels to access the European market.
Iveco’s new S-Way cab design for its heavy trucks (pictured) was recently unveiled. It is expected to launch in the UK some time next year.