At bauma, Volvo CE introduced its first commercial electric compact excavator and wheel loader models.
The two new machines, deliver zero exhaust emissions, lower noise levels, a reduced energy costs and less maintenance requirements.
Starting in 2020, Volvo CE will begin to launch a complete range of electric compact excavators (EC15 to EC27) and wheel loaders (L20 to L28), stopping new diesel engine-based development of these models.
“We are the first construction equipment manufacturer that commits to an electric future in the compact range,” said Melker Jernberg, president of Volvo CE. “We don’t only think about the future, we build it.”
Unveiled at bauma, the ECR25 excavator and L25 wheel loader are the first machines in the new electric range from Volvo CE.
Jernberg called the new machines the “stars” of Volvo CE’s product lineup at bauma.
“Our approach is to have a sustainable mindset throughout the whole value chain so we can deliver clean, productive and innovative products,” Jernberg said during Volvo’s bauma press conference.
Transition to electric
To make the ECR25 and L25 electric, combustion engines have been replaced with lithium-ion batteries.
The ECR25 excavator is fitted with lithium-ion batteries and one electric motor which powers the hydraulics in order to move the machine and the attachment. The machine’s batteries store enough electric energy to power the ECR25 for eight hours in its most common applications, such as utility work.
The L25 incorporates lithium-ion batteries which supply eight hours of operation time in the machine’s regular applications, including light infrastructure work, gardening, landscaping and agriculture. The L25 also incorporates two dedicated electric motors; one for the drivetrain and one for the hydraulics.
Decoupling the subsystems has led to higher efficiency in both the systems and the entire machine.
Both the ECR25 and L25 have onboard chargers that allow for overnight charging via a regular household socket. As well, a fast-charging option, requiring more powerful grid access, will also be available.
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“The ECR25 and L25 are revolutionary machines that demonstrate Volvo CE’s commitment to future technology,” said Scott Young, Volvo’s director of Electromobility and Automation.
“As the machines are electric, no particulate matter, nitrogen oxide or carbon dioxide are released into the environment. This, together with the fact that they have extremely low noise levels, makes them ideal for use in cities and densely populated areas.”
Electric prototype to reality
The launch of the ECR25 and L25 follow positive reactions to Volvo CE’s concept machines over the last few years. This includes the prototype EX2 electric compact excavator and the prototype LX2 electric compact wheel loader.
“While the ECR25 and L25 are different machines, the learnings from these research projects have helped to build the foundations for the new range of electric compact machines,” Young said.
“The technology we have been developing is now sufficiently robust and this, together with changes in customer behavior and a heightened regulatory environment, makes now the right time to launch our electric compact machines.”
With the unveiling of the first electric machines, a number of machines will be used and tested by customer’s in pilot projects before production begins mid-2020.
“Unveiling our first commercial electric machines marks a significant moment in Volvo CE’s journey towards building a more sustainable future,” Jernberg said. “The electrification of construction equipment will produce cleaner, quieter and more efficient machines – this represents the future of our industry.”