Iveco’s Brazilian unit has unveiled a prototype of its new electric Daily, a model destined to be the first zero emission light commercial vehicle produced in Latin America.

The project started with the development of the first Daily with pure electric drive in 1986.
This new project sees Iveco collaborating with Itaipu Binacional, an organisation which manages the largest hydroelectric generating station in the world on the border between Brazil and Paraguay.

The prototype will enable suitability testing to be carried out, looking specifically at the utilisation of electrical energy for the transportation of goods and passengers.

The project puts Iveco on target to become the pioneers of zero emission transportation in the Latin American market, the commercial vehicle specialist claimed.

The prototype, based on a crew cab Daily 55C, has three sealed Zebra Z5 sodium, nickel and chloride batteries which do not produce gas emissions and are maintenance free and recyclable.

The vehicle is also equipped with an energy recovery system, similar to the KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) used in Formula One racing, which enables the vehicle to recharge its batteries when braking.  This system gives the vehicle a range of 100km (62 miles) and a fully laden top speed of 70km/h (43mph).

After testing, the Electric Daily is expected to enter production at the same site that builds parent company Fiat;s Palio Electric under a partnership initiated in 2006 between Fiat Automoveis and Itaipu Binacional for the production of the first pure electric traction automobile in Brazil.

The first 10 Electric Dailys manufactured in the production centre of Foz do Iguaçu will be supplied to Itaipu Binacional and associated companies.

However, Iveco said the project was also attracting significant interest among other large companies across both Brazil and Argentina.

A second prototype based on a different configuration of the Daily is already scheduled for production by Iveco and Itaipu Binacional at the beginning of 2010.