The state of Vermont recently purchased its first electric compact excavator.
Bought by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT), the Volvo ECR25 Electric compact excavator is used to perform the many required duties and activities for highway maintenance.
“Vermont AOT wants to test the capabilities of many types of electric vehicles. When the compact electric excavator was available, we wanted to acquire it to start the testing of these types of machines,” said Todd Law, PE, deputy division director – District Maintenance and Fleet Division, Vermont Agency of Transportation.
The machine has been in the fleet for a few months now and Law says the staff said it has been working well.
Building an Electric Fleet
AOT goal is to transition its vehicles and equipment to all-electric or hybrid as part of its goal to switch from carbon-based fueled vehicles and equipment to more efficient or alternative fuels, according to Law.
“With that, much of our newly purchased light-duty and passenger fleet is converting to electric, hybrid-electric, or hybrid vehicles where available. We are attempting to acquire some electric equipment to test the capabilities based on our needs. This includes medium- to heavy-duty trucks, excavators, loaders, and the like,” he added.
Plus, AOT wants to add another compact electric excavator in early 2023 and a compact electric wheel loader to be shared throughout the state in over 50 garages.
To achieve a fleet goal of transitioning to more efficient or alternative fuels, Law recommends starting small, with one or two electric or alternative fuel vehicles. That way, fleet managers and staff can test them out before fully transitioning.
Law concluded, “Our conversion has been based on reviewing the normal duty cycle for the piece(s) of equipment and the listed duty cycle (battery life) of the electric vehicle/equipment to determine if it will meet the needs of our activities. In colder temperatures, the battery capabilities provide lower battery life and that should be considered.”
“The technology is changing rapidly, and many of our employees are unfamiliar with it, so giving them the opportunity to try it on a smaller scale will help to ease into the conversion and provide valuable insight into the viability of replacing equipment in the future,” he added.