Volvo Construction Equipment (not related to Volvo Cars) is working on the creation of construction equipment and has developed two battery-powered construction vehicles: the ECR25 Electric Compact Excavator and the L25 Electric Compact Wheel Loader. Both went through a year of testing in Southern California and both received enthusiastic praise from those who have used them on various job sites.
“The response from our customers to these machines confirms that there is not only a desire for these types of machines in North America, but an attraction in many markets,” said Stephen Roy, president of North American operations. from Volvo CE. “This only adds new momentum to Volvo’s vision to deliver machines that align with science-based climate goals and our global commitment to decarbonization.”
Deliveries to customers of the ECR25 Electric are expected to begin in January next year, with the L25 Electric becoming available across North America later in 2022. Volvo CE is the first construction equipment company to market dedicated electric machines at the widest end of the compact range. size range. In a press release, the company says the one-year pilot program confirms that Volvo CE electrical construction equipment matches the performance of diesel machines in the same class and offers significant advantages over conventional equipment.
“The California pilot project supports what we have seen on construction sites in Europe and elsewhere – our battery-powered electric compact excavator and compact wheel loader are viable alternatives to diesel equipment for construction fleets wishing to reduce their carbon footprint.” , says Melker Jernberg, president of Volvo CE. “Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. We all have an important role to play and, by working together and collaborating, we can reduce the amount of harmful emissions that enter the atmosphere. “
Not only do electric machines eliminate carbon emissions and reduce the amount of diesel fuel consumed on the job, they have other benefits that may not be apparent at first glance. First, they can be used indoors where diesel powered equipment cannot. Second, they are significantly quieter, which helps reduce operator fatigue and create a safer working environment. Tests found that Volvo machines reduced exterior noise levels by 9 decibels, which represents a 90% decrease in noise levels.
The test program confirmed that the electric machines matched the working performance of similar machines with diesel engines. There was also positive feedback from those who used them during the testing period on the decrease in maintenance needs of electrical machines, which do not require engine oil, oil filters or diesel particulate filters. The need for a diesel exhaust fluid tank is also eliminated.
The charging requirements were easily met by the local distribution network. Baltic Sands, one of the companies that tested Volvo’s electrical equipment, installed a solar panel to provide electricity to the machines that were put to work in the desert.
“This electrical construction equipment produces no tailpipe emissions and protects the health of neighboring communities,” says Elizabeth Adams, director of the Air and Radiation division of EPA Pacific Southwest. “In order to meet national air quality standards and fight climate change, we need to aim for vehicles and equipment that produce near-zero emissions.”
During testing, the L25 Electric Compact Wheel Loader and ECR25 Electric Compact Excavator were used by four organizations in a variety of applications. The California Department of Transportation used them to dig trenches, level and clean up drainage areas. Casper Company, which specializes in demolition, concrete cutting and environmental services, used them for utility and demolition work, some of which took place inside buildings.
Baltic Sands specializes in environmentally sensitive off-grid real estate development. He used electric machines for excavating, leveling, moving materials and many other tasks in housing construction. Waste Management, a waste disposal and recycling company, used it for the treatment of light waste.
“In the three months we tested, these machines performed exceptionally well, matching what we would expect from a diesel machine of equal size but zero emissions,” said Jacques Marais, director of Baltic Sands. “We are delighted to be one of the first users to apply electrical equipment to our business and I have a sincere belief that this is the future. “
Volvo CE will apply the lessons learned in testing to future research and development of battery-electric construction vehicles. It will continue to improve machine run times, optimize on-board charging systems and explore alternative charging methods for jobsites without easy access to charging stations. In addition, Volvo CE will continue to develop the electrification of other sizes and types of machines.
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