Volvo Construction Equipment has announced the results of a pilot project testing the L25 Electric compact wheel loader in North America.
For nearly a year, Volvo CE has been testing its battery-powered L25 Electric compact wheel loader with multiple customers on jobsites in Southern California with the goal of accelerating the deployment of zero-emission technologies for off-road vehicles.
This machine is a zero-emission solutions that, Volvo claims, meets the high-performance standards of customers in a variety of applications.
The pilot results come on the cusp of the company’s full roll-out of electric machines in these sizes, with this unit being available throughout North America early in 2022.
Volvo claims this is the first commercialization of dedicated electric machines at the larger end of the compact size range.
“Our customer’s response to these machines validates that there is not only a desire for these types of machines in North America but a pull in many markets,” said Stephen Roy, President of Region North America, Volvo CE. “This just adds further momentum to the Volvo vision of offering machines that align with Science Based Targets and our overall commitment to decarbonization.”
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The pilot project
Based on 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.
There was significantly lower noise levels compared with diesel equipment, reducing noise pollution and improving jobsite communication and safety by making it easier for crew members to hear each other. The testers said the machines could allow them to work in sound-sensitive areas.
The L25 has similar specifications to its diesel equivalents, and pilot project participants said that in practice the performance matched that of the diesel machine.
Also, there also was positive feedback on the decreased maintenance needs of the electric machines, which don’t require maintenance items such as oil, oil filters and diesel particulate filters. The need for a diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank is also eliminated.
The electric L25 matched diesel performance in several key areas including tipping load and dump height.
The project was an enabler for adaptations to the machines to make them compatible with the North American power grid. The higher current available on the U.S. power grid compared with Europe was found to be a benefit to charging.
The Volvo CE pilot project confirmed the importance of having access to quality charging connections. However, traditional power sources aren’t always required.
“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.” said Melker Jernberg, President of Volvo CE.