Iveco: Interest in gas ‘is huge’

Iveco has signed its first UK customer for the new Stralis NP – its 460hp, gas-powered, long-haul variant – amid growing interest in alternative fuels.

Speaking at its State of the Nation event last week, Martin Flach, alternative fuels director at Iveco, revealed that the manufacturer had one UK customer for the Stralis NP – but refused to share details on the grounds that the customer did not want to issue a press release.

Iveco MD Stuart Webster said: “To date, few transport operators have been in a real- world position to dive into alternative fuels. But loads are asking about it.”

Webster cited findings in the Shell Rimula 2017 Truck Buyers’ Survey, published by and available on Commercialmotor.com, which found that three in 10 operators are  considering alternative fuels ‐ any fuel other than diesel ‐ as part of their vehicle purchasing  in 2018.

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“A further 13.6% say they are ‘not yet sure’ ‐ so it’s fair to say that alternative fuels are at least under  consideration for over 40% of the market. Interest is huge,” he said. “Operators of all shapes and sizes are asking about the technology and wanting to know more ‐ something we applaud and are responding to.”

According to the Shell Report: “If good intentions are converted into actual purchases in 2018, it will be a year of significant change for commercial fleets.”

Webster (pictured left) responded to that statement by saying: “Uncertainty from the government’s position on diesel, confused by high profile announcements  from companies such as Tesla and their ‘electric semi,’ are disrupting and muddying the market.  That’s not good news ‐ because fact is, diesel will continue to play a central role in what transport operators do for many years to come.

“We need Euro-6 diesels ‐ for the good of the environment.  We need the legislators to support that. And be very clear in doing so.  But we must also do everything we can to encourage the rapid uptake of alternatives. Because they ‐  undoubtedly ‐ are the future,” he added.

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