In what could be the most important news from this story, though, Iveco claims that it will begin regular production of the diesel hybrid vans by the end of 2009. If that is the case, any commercial customers that are interested in purchasing the fuel-savers will be able to follow the lead of FedEx, which has already proven the technology to be commercially viable.
Diesel-Electric Hybrid Daily extended field evaluation
Iveco today announced the launch of ten Diesel-Electric Hybrid Daily vans that will conduct an extended field evaluation by FedEx Express, the world's largest express air delivery company, in Milan and Turin, Italy.
A symbolic handover of the vehicle keys was made by Paolo Monferino, Iveco Chief Executive Officer, to John Formisano, FedEx Express Vice President of Global Vehicles, today in Milan, in the beautiful scenario of Palazzo Marino. The ceremony was held in the presence of the Council Member with responsibility for Mobility, Transport and Environment for Milan Edoardo Croci.
The latest generation of hybrid technology, developed by Iveco and already presented at Rai Motor Show in Amsterdam last October, enables fuel savings of up to 30% in urban environments, with a corresponding reduction of CO2 emissions versus standard vehicles, thanks to sophisticated control and operation systems like Stop & Start, launch in electric mode and energy recovery from braking.
The fleet of ten Daily hybrid vehicles that today are put into service on the urban roads of Milan and Turin will serve to reduce annual Diesel fuel consumption by about 6000 litres with a consequent reduction in CO2 emissions of about 15 tons compared to conventional power train vehicles.
"Iveco – said Paolo Monferino – is committed to the development of this technology and the next step is to industrialise it to make it affordable to our customers. In order to respond to a consistent customer demand, Iveco will introduce hybrid power train technology in our vehicle production facilities by the end of 2009."
"This investment demonstrates FedEx's continuing commitment to aid in the further development of hybrid-electric commercial vehicles across the globe, and reflects the growing commercial viability of this technology," said John Formisano, FedEx Express Vice President of Global Vehicles.
Additionally, the Iveco vans have demonstrated they are ideal for commercial use because of their manoeuvrability. Following driver training using these vehicles, FedEx couriers were overwhelmingly positive in their praise for the performance, functionality, and ease-of-use of the Daily hybrid vehicles.
The testing activity with this vehicles is only at the beginning, because FedEx, which has been actively working with Iveco in the development of this technology, will be the first company to test it also in other European cities, starting from Paris.