In a year-long test, four fleets logged 400 hours on a Volvo ECR25 electric excavator and Volvo L25 electric loader, saving 560 gallons of fuel and keeping 6 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions out of the way. atmosphere, according to results published by Volvo Construction Equipment.
The $ 2 million pilot program was carried out under a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD).
What is the current state of electrical 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 that wish to reduce their carbon footprint.” , said Melker Jernberg. , president of Volvo Construction Equipment via a video at a press event in Los Angeles.
The performance of Volvo electric machines
Both electric machines are powered by lithium-ion batteries, and users noted that noise reduction was a key benefit for the machines. They said the lower noise levels improved operator communication, reduced operator fatigue, and provided a safer working environment. Customers have also been able to use the machines inside buildings and other structures where diesel exhaust fumes are limited.
Volvo said it recorded 9 decibel reduced exterior noise levels on the ECR25 electric excavator compared to their diesel counterparts, which represents a 90% decrease in sound power. The L25 electric wheel loader has a similar reduction.
Volvo electric machines have similar specifications to their diesel counterparts, and pilot project participants said that in practice performance matched that of diesel machines. There has also been positive feedback on the decrease in the maintenance needs of electric machines, which do not require maintenance items such as oil, oil filters, diesel particulate filters or an oil tank. ‘diesel exhaust (DEF).
Volvo said the machines also matched performance in several key areas, including digging depth and breakout force on the hydraulic excavator and tipping load and dump height on the wheel loader.
The Californian project made it possible to adapt the machines and use them with the North American electricity grid, which provides higher current than in Europe. The pilot project confirmed the importance of having access to quality charging stations. However, traditional food sources are not always necessary. Baltic Sands, for example, installed a solar panel for his work in the desert. Between the two machines, over 200 charge cycles were performed using a 240-volt power grid, fast charging, mobile power sources, and solar power.
During a panel discussion, two fleets that used the machines discussed the 6 hour run time of the machines. One of them said that during the 8 hour day of his project, the machine usage was much less than the six hours. The other, who said his projects would run 10 hours a day, spoke of the need to recharge the machines during “lunch and breaks,” but was able to complete the day’s tasks.
“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 the Americas region. North, Volvo. “This only adds new impetus to Volvo’s vision to deliver machines that align with scientific goals and our overall commitment to decarbonization. “
Electric machine test parks
- The L25 Electric Wheel Loader and ECR25 Electric Excavator have been used by four organizations in various applications.
- The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), for trenching, grading and cleaning up drainage areas.
- Casper Company, specializing in demolition, concrete cutting and environmental services, for utility and demolition work, including inside buildings.
- Baltic Sands Inc., which specializes in the development of environmentally sensitive off-grid properties, for excavation, grading, material movement and many other tasks in housing construction.
- Waste Management, a waste disposal and recycling company, for the treatment of light waste.
“In the three months that 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 Baltics Sands, in a press release prepared. “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. “