Iveco showed off its smallest natural gas-powered, mid-range truck for refuse collection at French trade show Pollutec in Lyon earlier this month.

The manufacturer chose France for the truck's debut as a number of major cities across the country are now exploring natural gas as a viable alternative to diesel to reduce emissions, noise and operating costs in the muncipal sector.

“Iveco is very active on the natural gas-powered vehicle (NGV) market. The market is in a period of strong growth,” said Steve Giguet, sales development manager for the NGV line at Iveco France.

“Major distribution chains have shown the way in France. Today, end users and the owners of heavy vehicle fleets in the municipal sector are putting their trust in this technology.”

Iveco's Eurocargo 120EL21 P is equipped with a 204hp Euro-6 compressed natural gas (CNG) engine and features a fully automatic Allison 2500 transmission with FuelSense technology (a set of software and electronic controls to improve fuel economy up to 20% according to Allison).

A Farid PN10 Mini Compactor body optimised for organic waste collection and 480 litre/80kg CNG tank are integrated with the truck.

Iveco said this combination delivers the optimal combination of size and load capacity resulting in a vehicle ideal for environmental-friendly operation in congested urban areas and in the narrow streets of historical city centers.

Last month, Spanish capital Madrid picked gas-powered Ivecos for urban refuse collection work.

November also saw the Italian manufacturer display its latest gas-powered Stralis NP at Freight in the City- a truck Iveco believes will bring gas into the mainstream for long-distance haulage operations.