Although the alternatively-fuelled commercial vehicle market is in its infancy, Richard Gooding drives Iveco’s range of LCVs which offer a variety of cleaner powertrains
With the car market is already offering a wide range of low, ultra-low and zero-emission options, the commercial vehicle sector is playing catch-up.
Of course, purely due to the size and cost of commercial vehicles, this was obviously always going to be the case, but greener alternatives are out there, and as GreenFleet reported last year (issue 101), Iveco has been one of the first manufacturers to cater for the growing demand for cleaner commercials.
The light commercial vehicle (LCV) market is well-placed to take up the cleaner commercial mantle, and it’s here Iveco has the most to offer.
Although the company has much to offer the heavy goods operator with its gas-powered Stralis NP and fuel-efficient Stralis XP, it’s the Daily range of light commercials which offer the widest range of powertrains.
Now under the all-encompassing ‘Blue Power’ banner, the Daily family features natural gas, electric and new Euro 6 RDE Ready diesel members, and there are over 7,000 configurations to choose from.
Aimed at transport-focused professional SME organisations – and ideal, says Iveco, for the chilled / heavy distribution and construction industries – we exercised the International Van of the Year 2018 range on local roads surrounding the Goodwood Estate, where Iveco parent company CNH Industrial is official supplier.
Daily Blue Power Hi-Matic Euro 6 RDE Ready
The Daily Euro 6 RDE Ready range is powered by a 2,287cc turbocharged diesel engine, developing 136bhp or 156bhp.
Fitted with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology, the unit is a ‘one step ahead’ engine, compliant with the forthcoming Real Driving Emissions (RDE) testing procedure which comes into force in 2020.
Iveco states that the new ‘F1A’ engine achieves its low emission levels by way of a High Pressure EGR system which takes exhaust gases away before they reach the turbine inlet, and flows them through the high pressure EGR cooler.
Then recirculated in the intake manifold and combined with SCR, the main pollutant elements are broken down, producing cleaner emissions.
The Daily Blue Power Euro 6 RDE Ready is the first light commercial to have been tested to the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) which is an on-road procedure: the current New European Drive Cycle (NEDC) and new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) are both in-lab tests.
Iveco states that the new Daily Euro 6 RDE Ready – which is only available in 3.5-tonne versions – offers a seven per cent fuel consumption saving in real-world driving scenarios.
The independent Netherlands Organisation (TNO) tested and verified that the regulation’s conformity factor (the comparison between in-lab test and on-road results) figure of 1.2, comfortably exceeding the benchmark value of 2.1 three years ahead of the statutory deadline.
All Iveco Dailies are based on a truck-like ladder frame chassis and rear-wheel drive.
Out on the road, this translates to a comfortable ride, and secure handling thanks to Iveco’s Quad Leaf front suspension system, which also gives good grip.
It might be noisier than the Natural-Powered Daily, but does without that version’s jerky take-off.
An ‘Eco’ mode on the eight-speed Hi-Matic automatic gearbox holds onto gears longer to aid fuel consumption, with a noticeable kick down to provide engine braking when decelerating.
The 258lb ft / 350Nm of torque is delivered smoothly, and the newest diesel-powered Daily is spritely enough on the move.
Available in three wheelbase lengths – 3,000, 3,520 and 4,000mm – three heights – 1,545, 1,900 and 2,100mm – and either van or chassis cab configurations, the Daily Blue Power Euro 6 RDE Ready offers cargo capacities from 7.3 to 18m3.
The RDE Ready model will be sold alongside the existing Daily Euro 6 Diesel model until that version is rendered obsolete by testing regulations, at which point the newer variant will be the only diesel Daily on sale.
Daily Blue Power Natural Power
Another of Iveco’s sustainable standard‑bearers is the Daily Natural Power range.
Powered by either compressed natural gas (CNG) or compressed bio-methane (CBM) and offered in gross vehicle weights from 3.5 tonnes to 7.2 tonnes, the Daily Natural Power family is the only dedicated natural gas-powered range of light commercials on the UK market.
Designed to run on petrol for up to 50 miles in ‘recovery’ scenarios, the Daily Natural Power is said to offer the same performance as an equivalent diesel-powered LCV, and the Luton chassis cab Daily we tested certainly seemed on a par with the Euro 6 RDE Ready version.
The 3.0-litre engine produces up to 136bhp, with the same 258lb ft / 350Nm of torque as the lower-powered Euro 6 RDE Ready model, and a range of 155 to 280 miles is promised between fill-ups.
The Daily Natural Power shares the same customisation options and wide range of wheelbase lengths and roof heights, as well as the choice of chassis cab, double cab, van and half-panel van versions. Most noticeable on the move are the reduced noise levels, and the Natural Power variant enjoys the same well-weighted controls as other Dailies.
The only criticism we have of the general Daily cabin is that of quality: its commercial manufacturer origins are very evident with hard and workman-like plastics.
Undoubtedly of more appeal to GreenFleet readers are promised fuel savings of around 2.5 per cent when specified with the Hi-Matic gearbox – a first on an alternatively-fuelled van – and up to 95 per cent fewer CO2 emissions when powered by bio-methane.
The CNG version offers a cut in particulate matter of around 12 per cent, while NOx emissions are down five per cent, with CO2 emissions down three per cent.
The CNG tanks are mounted underneath the ladder frame chassis, with two fitted as standard, and another pair optional, for a total range of 280 miles.
Daily Blue Power Electric
The all-electric, zero-emission version of the current Daily debuted at the 2016 Commercial Vehicle Show, and, just like the Natural Power version, its subdued noise levels makes it ideally suited to urban missions in the proposed new Low and Ultra-Low Emission Zones.
Fleets can choose from three battery configurations – single, double and triple – which give ranges from 45 to 130 miles, and four bodystyles: van, chassis cab, chassis cowl and minibus.
Wheelbase and roof heights are identical to the Euro 6 RDE Ready versions, with gross vehicle weights of between 3.5 to 5.0 tonnes, while the electric motors are rated at 60kW and 80kW.
With torque of 147lb ft / 200Nm available from just 2,620rpm, the Daily Electric will easily cope with urban driving conditions, and battery performance is optimised for all weather and climate conditions.
Three levels of regenerative braking allow for on-the-move battery recharging – with an ‘Eco’ mode for further regeneration – and Iveco claims that charging to 80 per cent from empty will take around two hours.
A ‘Power’ mode boosts responsiveness for hills and delivers the full amount of torque, aided by the super capacitor. The energy management has also been improved since the Daily Electric was launched.
On the road, the Daily Electric chassis cab is fun to drive in the same way electric cars are, and just like the new Nissan Leaf, you can, in effect, drive it on just one pedal.
A removable tablet display sits in the dashboard and is removable, and informs the driver of battery charge levels, state, and temperature as well as other useful information.
Because batteries, electric motors and their associated ancillaries aren’t the lightest of components, payload is increased by 100kg on the Daily Electric
Currently, the Daily range can be driven with a Class B driving licence (up to 3.5-tonnes gross vehicle weight), but Iveco is campaigning for the limit to be changed to 4.25 tonnes, as has been signalled by the Government with the release of a consultation document in July 2017.
This uplift would only apply to CNG and electrically-powered vehicles and would be welcomed, as an additional 350 to 400kgs of payload would be added to compensate for the extra weight incurred by the necessary low and zero-emission technology.
Prices for the Iveco Daily Electric come range from approximately £60,000 for the single battery, 45-mile configuration; £80,000 upwards for the twin-battery, 90-mile version; while the three-battery variant is expected to top £100,000.
Iveco states that most operators would choose the twin-battery version.
The Government’s Plug-in Van Grant (PiVG) covers 20 per cent of the purchase price – up to £20,000 – of an electric light commercial, providing it can travel a minimum of 60 miles, on the first 200 vehicles acquired.
Iveco states that the Daily Electric also has a potential 6-year payback for most operations and is cost neutral after this period.
‘Sustainability is the heart of everything Blue Power'
Iveco promises that ‘Sustainability is the heart of everything Daily Blue Power’, and on our first drives of the cleaner diesel and alternatively-fuelled light commercials, we don’t doubt the company’s promise and ambitions.
Over 15,000 Natural Power light commercials are already in service, and the company has secured Daily Electric fleet orders from the Austrian postal service, Metro in Italy, Ruter in Norway, and FCC in Spain.
While the alternatively-fuelled light commercial market is still very much one in its infancy, Iveco’s sustainable van range is well-placed to benefit from fleets looking for cost savings, as well as increased efficiency and productivity.
DAILY-BY-DAILY: 30 YEARS OF IVECO DAILY LANDMARKS
1978: first-generation Daily – first commercial with independent wheel front suspension
1984: first Daily 4x4
1985: first Daily turbodiesel – first commercial with direct injection turbo engine
1996: first-generation facelift
1998: first Daily CNG
1999: second-generation Daily
2000: International Van of the Year
2004: first automated gearbox
2006: ESP as standard, first LCV to offer Euro 4 engines
2009: first Daily Electric
2010: 2m Dailies sold
2011: International Van of the Year
2012: Daily Euro 5 – EEV engines, new gearboxes, Start and Stop systems installed
2014: third-generation Daily
2015: International Van of the Year, new Daily Hi-Matic with only eight-speed auto gearbox in its class
2016: Daily Euro 6 and Daily Electric
2018: Daily Euro 6 RDE Ready