Volvo CE also announced that the 22-ton EC230 Electric excavator is coming to North America for demos. The machine, which is not yet commercially available, is a significant advancement in the electrification of larger construction equipment.
The news came at a press event at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, North America’s largest event dedicated to fleet sustainability. In recent years, the show has expanded its focus from on-road vehicles to include off-road technology, making it a natural fit to introduce the ordering process for the new Volvo CE electric models.
“Off-road equipment is the next frontier in electric vehicles, and Volvo CE is proud to lead the way in the construction industry’s sustainability journey,” said Stephen Roy, president, Region North America at Volvo CE. “Fleets need cleaner solutions to meet growing regulations and societal demand, and now we have five electric compact models for our customers to choose from.”
Strong Performance, No Emissions
The L20 Electric compact wheel loader and EC18 and ECR18 Electric compact excavators join the L25 Electric compact wheel loader and ECR25 Electric compact excavator — which are being delivered to North American customers in the coming weeks — in the Volvo electric machine lineup. Deliveries of the three newest models are expected in 2023.
The L20 Electric compact wheel loader features a 1.8-ton payload and a parallel-type linkage (Z-bar linkage optional), outstanding lifting height and 100% parallel movements. Expected to deliver up to six hours of active work per charge, the machine comes with a choice of battery pack (33kWh or 40kWh) and reduces maintenance by 30%. Operator comfort is enhanced by near-silent operation, a new automatic park brake with hill-hold functionality and a range of customizable work modes.
The 1.8-ton EC18 and short-swing ECR18 Electric compact excavators provide the same best-in-class stability and operator experience customers expect from their diesel counterparts but with the benefit of low noise, low vibration and more responsive hydraulics due to the immediate torque. Both deliver four hours of active work per charge (depending on the environment and task), and the ECR18’s ultra-short tail radius is perfect for confined spaces.
All three machines come with an integrated on-board charger, allowing them to charge from zero to 100% in under six hours using the J1772 AC Charging cable on a 240-volt outlet — the same plug and charging system on a typical electric vehicle. With an optional off-board fast charger, the L20 Electric will fully charge in under just two hours, while the ECR18 Electric and EC18 Electric will charge up to 80% in under one hour.
Volvo CE also provided updates on how the L25 and ECR25 Electric machines have performed in real-world settings and the diverse applications in which owners plan to use them. These include applications where diesel machines are common, such as an underground fiber optic installation in Canada and property development in California. They also include jobs where diesel exhaust and noise create challenges, like maintenance and building projects at the Toronto Zoo, landscaping at a national wildlife refuge near Washington, D.C., indoor demolition in California and agricultural work in New England.
“The lack of diesel fumes and low noise are great when working near animals or in residential areas,” said Roy. “And the fact that these machines perform the same or better than their diesel counterparts is really exciting. Electric machines may open new opportunities for customers by allowing them to operate in noise-sensitive areas and outside of standard hours, as well as on low-carbon projects and indoors.”
The Volvo CE electric machines have also proven to provide an exceptional value. A Volvo CE analysis found that, because of factors like less maintenance and not paying for fuel, an ECR25 Electric compact excavator would increase costs on a two-week trenching project by only 2% over the equivalent diesel model. That’s a 2% premium for an emissions-free site — something many equipment owners could find to be a great deal if they are able to work on new types of projects or can market themselves as a sustainable solution when bidding on jobs.
“As the world moves toward a more environmentally conscious future, the Volvo CE team has worked for decades to become a leader in the construction industry’s electrification journey,” said Ray Gallant, vice president, Product Management & Productivity, Region Americas at Volvo CE. “Producing equipment that can fill the growing need for sustainability solutions for construction companies, government fleets, food and agriculture businesses and more is something we are very proud of.”
In a further sign of how integrated sustainability has become in the effort to reduce vehicle emissions, Volvo CE and Volvo Trucks North America shared a booth at ACT Expo, showcasing both the off- and on-road sustainability solutions Volvo has to offer.