The Volvo Construction Equipment L25 Electric compact wheel loader and ECR25 Electric compact excavator are pictured at work for Baltic Sands in the California desert during the pilot project. - Photo: Volvo

The Volvo Construction Equipment L25 Electric compact wheel loader and ECR25 Electric compact excavator are pictured at work for Baltic Sands in the California desert during the pilot project.

Photo: Volvo

Volvo Construction Equipment announced the results of a pilot project testing the ECR25 Electric compact excavator and L25 Electric compact wheel loader in North America.

For nearly a year, Volvo CE has been testing its battery-powered ECR25 Electric compact excavator and 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. Both machines are zero-emission solutions that meet the standards of construction customers in a variety of applications. An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant administered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) provided funding for the project.

The pilot project confirms Volvo electric construction equipment matches performance and has significant benefits when compared to diesel machines in the same class.

Key findings include:

  • Reduced emissions. Based on a combined 400 operating hours, there was a reduction of 6 metric tons of carbon dioxide and fuel savings of 560 gallons.
  • Lower noise for the ability to work in sound-sensitive areas. The electric excavator was 9 decibels lower than the diesel counterpart, representing a 90% decrease in sound power, and the electric compact wheel loader had a similar sound reduction.
  • Similar performance to diesel-powered equipment. Performance matched that of diesel engines in key areas, including digging depth and breakout force on the excavators and tipping load and dump height on the wheel loader. Pilot participants also praised the EVs’ decreased maintenance needs.

“The California pilot project supports what we’ve seen on jobsites in Europe and elsewhere: 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,” said Melker Jernberg, president of Volvo CE.

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, 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 CE continues to compile data and will submit full reports on the project to the South Coast AQMD and EPA. Volvo CE will apply the learnings to future research and development of battery-electric vehicles and will continue to develop the electrification of other sizes and types of machines.

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