With the widest range of electric construction machines available on the market today, Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) is showcasing that the journey towards emission free jobsites is well under way. Here we take a look at the wide range of real-life applications where these electric machines are already in action.
Volvo CE believes that electromobility has the power to change the way customers do business – by opening up work in new places, in sensitive environments and even indoors, thanks to the near silence and zero exhaust emissions that they bring. No longer is electromobility a niche option – change is here, and the company’s technology is already proving to be a reliable and emission-free solution for customers today.
The company’s electric range incorporates the ECR18 Electric and EC18 Electric compact excavators and the L25 Electric and L20 Electric compact wheel loaders available in select Europe and North America markets, and the ECR25 Electric, available in select Europe, North America and Asia markets, together with the EC55 Electric excavator, available for now only in China. For medium-sized equipment, Volvo CE has introduced the 23-ton EC230 Electric excavator in selected markets. These solutions are proving their potential for more efficient and more sustainable operations with just as much power and performance as their diesel counterparts.
Elodie Guyot, Head of Electromobility Sales in Europe, says: “Environmental regulations are increasing around the world. The ability to deliver the same high performance but in a more sustainable manner is no longer a niche requirement, it’s a prerequisite for doing business. We understand the demands on our customers and the challenges they face while also, like us, working towards their own sustainability targets. We are proud to offer solutions, of which electric machines play a key role, that help them on their journey.”
Currently the largest of Volvo CE’s range of battery electric solutions is the 23-ton EC230 Electric excavator, available as part of a comprehensive offer together with the appropriate power unit. It delivers the same digging force and lifting capacity as its conventional counterpart but with less noise and zero emissions.
It has already proved capable of helping to build part of Sejong Smart City in South Korea as part of a pioneering testbed for innovative construction solutions in the shaping of a smart, connected city built for future urban living. Since then and due to a strong pull from the market, Norway has introduced the EC230 Electric and confirmed the efficacy of these machines across different applications in working alongside other machines in real-life construction sites.
The ECR25 Electric working inside the wine cellar for the Bertani Winery in Italy
The Bertani Winery, just outside Verona, Italy, is well known for producing superior vintages for over 150 years. Yet its decision to upgrade one of its wine cellars called for a more modern approach to construction. The zero-emission ECR25 Electric excavator was an ideal solution for this particular application – according to Consortium Artigiano Scaligero, the construction company in charge of the restructuring – given the fact the renovations were taking place indoors and any diesel fumes would have been a health hazard for those working there.
The L25 Electric working on the farm for Leick Baumschulen in Konz
In addition, the lack of fumes and low vibrations provided by these electric machines make them perfect for all other kinds of landscaping and agricultural work. For customer Leick Baumschulen in Konz, Germany, for example, the L25 Electric wheel loader has proved an instrumental tool in transporting plants and trees and other maintenance work such as pallet handling, loading material, grading and sweeping.
“We also operate the machine to transport plants in our show area where customers are coming in and out. With this machine, it is more comfortable for our customers and our employees as the noise level is much lower. This means we can keep our conversation and discussions going with our customers when the machine is operating nearby,” says Christoph Leick, co-owner of Leick Baumschulen
The L25 Electric working for Berliner Stadtreinigung in Berlin
So reliable have these electric wheel loaders proved to be that another customer Berliner Stadtreinigung ordered a fleet of nine Volvo L25 Electric wheel loaders to help them meet their climate protection goals across several sites in the Berlin metropolitan area in Germany. They help the city keep its streets and sidewalks clean and clear, pushing waste from the city’s 26,000 garbage bins into boxes and transferring the waste to compacting containers. In the winter, the machines are also helping with the important role of keeping Berlin’s roads free of snow and ice, loading de-icing salt and gravel for the city’s grit spreaders.
Volvo CE’s electric solutions are also proving their potential in still more applications across the globe. Located just 20 miles outside the nation’s capital, the Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, USA, offers a sanctuary to wildlife and a place for people to explore nature. A battery-powered, zero-emission ECR25 Electric compact excavator and L25 Electric compact wheel loader have been used to build a new trail in the refuge.
Construction of the trail supports the conservation mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the National Wildlife Refuge System — a network of 567 refuges across the U.S. that offer access to a host of popular activities while providing vital habitat for thousands of wildlife species. It is understandable therefore that they aim to be as sustainable as possible from the very outset of their practices.
The ECR25 Electric in operation for customer Baltic Sands in California
Another US customer Baltic Sands specializes in environmentally sensitive, luxury off-grid property development and real estate, developing homes with a focus on sustainability and unique design enhanced by the surrounding environment. The company primarily works in remote desert locations where power, water and utilities aren’t simply scarce — they’re nonexistent.
While the lack of a power grid initially presented a challenge with daily charging of electrically powered equipment, it didn’t stop them; and the L25 Electric and ECR25 Electric proved more than capable in completing the project to time when powered via a planned solar array.
Charging is understandably a high priority for customers using electric construction equipment, but thanks to a range of charging solutions provided by Volvo CE, they can be assured operations will stay up and running no matter the application. All machines come with on-board and off-board chargers specific to the region, but we advise all customers to speak to their local dealer to find out the best fit for them.
Moving from diesel to electric also requires partnership on a level not seen before. It is why, for example, Volvo CE has chosen to invest in Dutch firm Limach – one of many partnerships that Volvo CE has committed to in order to take the lead in the industry’s sustainability transformation.
All of these battery-electric machines form part of the company’s roadmap towards net zero value chain greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, with significant emission reductions to be made as early as 2030. This is a goal that cannot be achieved alone. It is by working together with customers that Volvo CE is capable of creating real change on a global scale.