Electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are an increasing priority for IVECO Australia according to a new business update it released to industry this week.
The Dandenong-based truck maker, according to new Managing Director Michael May, was already committed to weening itself from diesel engine technology.
"Trucking is an amazing platform for technology," he said. "We've got really impressive technology around emissions in trucking."
From a manufacturering perspective May said it was important for the company to push itself out of a comfort zone towards new innovative fuels with the European joint venture with Nikola a portent of exciting developments to come for the IVECO brand.
In December last year IVECO partnered with Nikola to develop and distribute cab-over hydrogen fuel-cell and battery-electric trucks for the European market.
Insofar as May described IVECO's diesel engines supplied to market as class leading he said there was a focus within the company to reach the next level.
A 20 year veteran of the trucking industry, May, arrived at IVECO Australia officially in February from Daimler where he had previously been a director of Mercedes-Benz Truck & Bus.
IVECO's broad spectrum of products excited May as it accommodated on-highway prime movers, municipal applications and tools of the trade light commercial, vehicles for waste management and first responders, last mile and leisure cab-chassis motor homes.
He said the breadth of IVECO's product range, which was built and tested for arduous industry environments, set it apart from its competitors.
Much effort and consideration is going into the work space of the vehicle for drivers according to May to ensure it was safe and of the highest comfort standards.
Despite a contagion-changed economic landscape, the federal government stimulus had helped truck sales figures recover said May.
In light of recent Stage 4 lockdowns announced in Victoria, IVECO also confirmed that its manufacturing facility was still operational as it was demarcated under government guidelines as an essential service.
All Melbourne-based IVECO business operations, including sales, service, parts and finance, however, would continue to support its network and customers on a remote basis.
"One of the important things is for us to keep close to our customers and to keep close to our stakeholders and partners," May said.
"We've learnt through the use of software and systems we can be better connected on a personal level," he said.
"We think we can use technology to connect with our customers."