Construction Equipment Asia

The Evolvement of Sustainable Construction Machinery in Asia

A.M. Muralidharan, Managing Director of Volvo CE, Singapore was recently invited onto Singapore’s leading business and finance radio station, Money FM 89.3’s flagship morning show - The Morning Huddle, to discuss the potential for electric construction machines.

Elliot Danker, the channel anchor, started the segment highlighting how one of Singapore’s climate goals is to phase out internal combustion vehicles by 2040. And the introduction of electric construction machinery by Volvo CE will help bring this EV transition to the construction industry in Singapore. He also mentioned how Singapore, as an island country, is uniquely vulnerable to rising sea levels and increased flooding associated with climate change. As such, Singapore is pursuing an aggressive climate resilience policy. This includes S$100 billion to safeguard the city against climate change with an additional S$5 billion Coastal and Flood Protection Fund and a S$1 billion investment in sustainable urban solutions such as renewable energy. 

Introducing Mr. Muralidharan, he added how these measures bring an exciting opportunity for Volvo CE to develop much of this infrastructure using electric construction machines. Mr. Muralidharan expected that some customers might be hesitant to switch from diesel to electric power, but highlighted the potential of the recently introduced EaaS (Equipment as a Service) as a way for customers to trial Volvo electric machines without having to make significant capital investments. EaaS is a future model that focuses on the use rather than ownership of construction equipment helping Volvo customers invest more capital to grow their core business operations profitability.

Mr. Muralidharan explained how Volvo CE is trying to build understanding of the new technology and highlighted the benefits of electric machines ranging from lower carbon footprint, noise reduction and operator comfort, to name a few. Although the initial purchase price is currently higher, he strongly believes that over the lifecycle of electric machines, the total cost of ownership and operation will be better than their diesel counterparts.

While small and medium machines are battery operated, he mentioned how grid connections and hydrogen fuel cell technology is being explored for bigger machines. And when it comes to providing an entirely green solution, Volvo CE is also investigating solar panels or wind turbines to generate emission-free energy for charging the machines on site. 

They concluded the interview by talking about the safety training Volvo CE is providing for its people, dealers, and customers while handling, maintaining, and operating these machines.

The 2.5-ton battery-powered Volvo ECR25 Electric compact excavator is the first electric machine from a major manufacturer to arrive in the Asian market. It was first launched online in South Korea in March 2022 and will be rolled out in Japan and Singapore in 2023.

The Morning Huddle with Elliott Danker and finance presenter Ryan Huang covers the latest global market trends with business insights from industry experts.

To listen to the complete interview, please click here.