Volvo Electric Machine Pilot Results

Volvo has released testing results of the company's electric ECR25 compact excavator and the L25 electric compact wheel loader.

Volvo has been testing the battery-powered ECR25 Electric compact excavator and L25 Electric compact wheel loader with multiple customers on worksites in Southern California with the goal of accelerating the deployment of zero-emission technologies for off-road vehicles.

Volvo says both machines are zero-emission solutions that meet the performance standards. An EPA grant funded the project.

The machines are expected to rollout in early 2022. Volvo is one of the first companies to produce larger compact machines fully electric.

“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,” says Stephen Roy, president of Region North America, Volvo CE.

Volvo says the tests shows electric construction equipment matches performance and has significant benefits when compared to diesel machines in the same class.

“The California pilot project supports what we’ve seen on jobsites in Europe and elsewhere, that 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,” says 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.”

The electric machines are powered by lithium-ion batteries and which produce zero emissions. As a result, the ECR25 and L25 models could work inside structures that restrict exhaust machines.

The machines were run for about 400 hours, which would save about 560 gallons of diesel fuel over the same period time with a conventional machine.

Noise is significantly reduced with the electric models. Less noise can be a benefit, but also could prove to be a potential hazard if workers around the machine aren't made aware the machine is operating nearby because of the reduced noise.

Pilot participants reportedly said the Volvo electric machines worked about the same as diesel machines and noted there was less need for maintenance over the test period in large part because the electric machines don't require oil. The need for a diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank is also eliminated.

Volvo says the electric models match its diesel counterparts in dig depth, breakout force, and tipping load and dump height on the wheel loader.

When it comes to charging the machines, more than 200 charge cycles were completed using 240-volt AC grid power. Volvo says the machines charge quickly depending on what charging option you have. The fast charging option takes about two hours while the standard charging option takes about nine.

Once charged, Volvo says the machines can run for about eight hours before needing a recharge.

Volvo says the L25 electric compact wheel loader and ECR25 electric compact excavator were used by four organizations in a variety of applications:

  • The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), for trenching, grading and clearing of drainage areas.
  • Casper Company, which specializes in demolition, concrete cutting and environmental services, for utility and demolition work, including inside buildings.
  • Baltic Sands Inc., which specializes in environmentally sensitive, off-grid property development, for excavation, grading, moving material and numerous other tasks in housing construction.
  • Waste Management, a waste disposal and recycling company, for light waste handling.

Volvo says it will continue to improve the electric machines by enhancing the run times, optimize the onboard charging systems, and continue to explore alternative charging methods.

Pre-booking of the ECR25 Electric compact excavator and L25 Electric compact wheel loader for North American customers is open now for those who want to be among the first to own the machines when delivery begins in early 2022.

ConEquip Parts definitely does NOT provide batteries for these electric models, however, Conequip does supply many parts for Volvo machines.