Volvo CE tests its electric construction equipment ahead of market launch

Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) has presented the result of a pilot project testing the ECR25 Electric compact excavator and L25 Electric compact wheel loader in North America.

For nearly a year, Volvo’s new compact excavator and compact wheel loader have been field-tested with multiple customers on job sites in Southern California.

The Volvo ECR25 Electric excavator is equipped with a 24 hp electric motor that allows the excavator to move around the construction site at 2.8 mph (4.5 km/h). It has a 20 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that gives it a runtime of up to 4 hours, depending on the application. The battery charges from 0 to 80% in about 50 minutes using a fast-charging over 400 V AC (32 A), while the 230 VAC 16A takes 5 hours for full charging. The 6,102 lbs (2,768 kg) vehicle can dig down to a depth of just over 9 ft and then dump from a height of 9.8 ft.

The L25 Electric compact wheel loader moves at a maximum speed of up to 10 mph (16 km/h) thanks to a 48 hp electric motor. The 39 kWh battery pack gives it a runtime of up to 8 hours and takes 12 hours to fully charge over 230 VAC 16A.

The pilot project confirms Volvo electric construction equipment matches performance and has significant benefits when compared to diesel machines in the same class.

Based on the combined 400 operating hours of electric machine use during the year-long pilot, there was a reduction of 6 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and an approximate savings of 560 gallons of fuel with an estimated cost of $2,400, when comparing diesel machine use at the same amount of hours. In addition, there were significantly lower exterior noise levels by 9 decibels (dBA) compared to diesel equipment, reducing noise pollution and improving job site communication and safety by making it easier for crew members to hear each other.

“The California pilot project supports what we’ve seen on job sites in Europe and elsewhere: our battery-electric compact excavator and compact wheel loader are viable alternatives to diesel equipment for construction fleets that want to reduce their carbon footprints,” said Melker Jernberg, President of Volvo CE. “Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time, we all have an important role to act, and by working together and collaborating, we can reduce the amount of harmful emissions that are entering the atmosphere.”

Volvo CE continues to compile data and will submit full reports on the project to the South Coast AQMD and EPA. The prebooking for the ECR25 Electric and L25 Electric is open now, with the customer deliveries of the ECR25 Electric expected in January 2022 and both units available throughout North America early in 2022.

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