CNH Industrial and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) have announced the commercialization of the first-ever natural gas vehicle for the Israeli market. This order falls under the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which foresees a partnership between the companies and Israel’s Fuel Choices Initiative (IFCI), according to the companies.

IFCI is a 10-year Israeli Government program, managed through the Prime Minister’s Office, which is dedicated to reducing the world’s dependency on oil for transport and supporting the development of alternative fuels. The signed MOU specifies that FCA and CNH Industrial, along with several of their brands, will assist in the research, development and implementation of natural gas based fuels for transportation, according to the companies.

The vehicle in question is a Stralis 4×2 heavy truck from CNH Industrial’s commercial vehicles brand Iveco. It is powered by an Iveco Cursor 8 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Euro VI engine. The Stralis CNG will be supplied to Fridenson Group, an Israeli logistics company with an existing fleet of over 140 trucks and trailers. This delivery is being managed by MCA, the exclusive importer of Iveco as well as several brands belonging to FCA for Israel. Fridenson Group plans to use the CNG truck in a pilot program that demonstrates its commitment to ensuring a cleaner environment. As expressed by the Group, this first step will lead to the replacement of a significant number of diesel engine trucks in favour of CNG-powered models.

Further to this development, MCA will also be importing a 12-meter CNG urban bus from CNH Industrial brand Iveco Bus. A series of demonstrations of the bus’s capabilities will be carried out in the country over a two-month period.

The companies’ partnership with IFCI seeks to assist the Government of Israel in fulfilling its set objective to establish the country as an alternative fuels knowledge hub. The IFCI program calls for the increased use of alternative fuel technologies in Israel’s transportation sector with a significant portion of the vehicle fleet being so equipped by 2020.