Volvo CE to cease diesel development for compact equipment

VOlvo CE
The LX2 electric concept wheel loader and the EX2, an electric concept compact excavator, were demo’d at the Volvo Group Innovation Summit in September.

Volvo CE will cease development of diesel engines for its compact equipment range in favour of electromobility.

On Jan. 15, Volvo CE announced that by mid-2020, it will begin to roll out a new range of electric compact excavators and wheel loaders.

The new electric range will include compact excavators from EC15 to EC27 and wheel loaders from L20 to L28.

The announcement makes Volvo CE the first construction equipment manufacturer to commit to electric future for its compact equipment.

As well, the move aligns with the Volvo Group’s electromobility strategy in all business areas.

“Volvo CE is delivering on its commitment of ‘Building Tomorrow’ by driving leadership in electromobility and delivering sustainable solutions that support customer success,” said Volvo CE President Melker Jernberg.

“The technology we have been developing is now sufficiently robust and this, together with changes in customer behavior and a heightened regulatory environment, means that now is the right time to commit to electromobility in our compact equipment ranges in the future.”

VOlvo CE

The first electric machines will be unveiled at Bauma in April 2019, followed by a staged market-by-market introduction in 2020.

Although Volvo CE is introducing electric machines, the company stresses that diesel combustion remains the most appropriate power source for its larger machines.

The announcement follows a favourable reaction from the market after the successful unveiling of a number of concept machines.

Concept machines from Volvo CE

At the Volvo Group Innovation Summit in September, the company unveiled the LX2, an electric concept wheel loader. The LX2 incorporates two dedicated electric motors — one for the drivetrain and one for the hydraulics. Decoupling the subsystems led to higher efficiency in both the systems and the entire machine, according to the company.

To make the machine electric, the combustion engine was replaced with a lithium ion battery, which stores enough energy to run the machine for eight hours.

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“It incorporates the latest advanced chemistry battery technology,” said Ulrich Faß, emerging technologies manager for Volvo CE. “As it’s electric, no particulate matter, nitrogen oxide or carbon dioxide are released into the environment. This, together with the fact that it has extremely low noise levels,

At the summit, Volvo CE also displayed the EX2, an electric compact excavator. The prototype machine delivers zero emissions, 10 times higher efficiency, 10 times lower noise levels and reduced total cost of ownership compared to its conventional counterparts.