At the centre of some of the most influential technological transformations in recent years, compact machines have proved to be a breeding ground for innovation and application versatility. The product experts at Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) explain why they continue to be the most popular segment on the market.
Volvo CE is committing to move its entire product line of compact machines to electric.
“It’s easy to understand why this segment has been so attracted to electromobility,” says Helmut. “Cities want to – and need to – drive down their emissions and as regulations become more prevalent our customer base is increasingly looking for electric machines to meet these requirements. Compact machines are built for inner city work and if you add in zero exhaust fumes and a quieter, safer work environment, you have a complete package perfectly suited to urban applications. The customer demand for sustainable products are increasing and we, at Volvo CE, have cared for many years on developing and driving a focus on this area.”
Electric machines are bringing with them altogether new segments for the business – and even traditional customers are showing signs of being more open to this new technology. Elodie Guyot, Electric Compact Excavator Project Manager at Volvo CE, who oversaw the launch of the ECR25 Electric, says: “Since we announced the launch of our new machines we have been getting increasingly diverse requests from the market. Landscaping and utility works are typical applications for compact excavators, but we are now also receiving requests for other job sites such as indoor demolition or tunnelling maintenance. It is these new applications which benefit from zero exhaust fumes and low noise, providing a far more pleasant work environment.”
The ability to innovate in this segment is a testament to the reliability synonymous with Volvo compact machines. This machine reliability, with a long-lasting life span, is why the rental model works so well in the compact market, which holds a much higher percentage in the market compared to other product lines, such as general purpose excavators. And the introduction of electromobility is likely to see the rental business become even more widespread in the future.
“Compact equipment is right at the heart of these changes in the market” says Helmut. “It’s not possible to just release new products to the market and leave it be. We need to develop, lift and innovate.” For Volvo CE, this means setting up customer pilots to test the real-life applications of these electric compact machines, which are now currently underway.
Elodie adds: “When it comes to testing the potential for new innovations, it’s very important to start with segments that are very visible. And then it becomes easier to shift electric technologies through to other areas.” The prominence of the compact machine market, therefore, makes it the perfect place to bring electromobility to the forefront.