Quiet, clean and powerful: Electromobility in the construction industry

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Quiet, clean and powerful: Electromobility in the construction industry-construction

The sales of electric cars rise from year to year, more and more cities use electric breads, and the first generation of electric truck rolls on local and highways. The first progress in electromobility has largely been achieved on the streets.

In the background, electric vehicles have still quiet and quietly rooted the road and are rolled on the building grounds. The construction industry must also play an important role in the decarbonization. The construction industry is responsible for a total report of the United Nations for 38 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions around the world.

“After road trucks, terracing devices are the second largest source of nitric oxide emissions in our region,” says Benoit, chairman of the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The authority is responsible for improving air quality in an area around Los Angeles, where 17 million people live. “Our nearest focus is on construction machinery and will look forward to seeing some achievements in electromobility.”

Farming machines such as excavators and wheel loaders are only available gradually as an electro option, and as in the transport industry, the e-mobility breaks a new era here as well. “Electric machines will build the streets, bridges and power lines of tomorrow, and they will do this without greenhouse gas emissions,” says Dr. Ray Gallant, Head of Product Management and Productivity, Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE). “There are already pioneers who successfully use electric construction machinery, and these pioneers find that they can reduce their CO2 footprint at the same performance.”The wheel loader Volvo L25 Electric is located in California from the company Baltic Sands Inc. used, but also in Germany, in the winter service at the AWB Cologne.

“Electric machines are the next step in reducing emissions”

Manufacturers of these devices have been promoting sustainability through the use of lower emission engines, reducing fuel consumption and development of telematics systems with which operators can reduce fuel consumption and reduce machine leading time. “In the last few years, we achieved great success in the reduction of pollutant emissions by our machines,” says Volvo product manager Gallant. “Although further improvements in diesel combustion technology are possible, which we will continue to pursue, I believe that we have reached a point where most benefits have already been realized. New technologies such as electric machines are the next step in reducing emissions.”

Quiet, clean and powerful: Electromobility in the construction industry-electromobilityVolvo CE

The demand for sustainability also comes from the public and the private sector. Governments around the world say goodbye to local and regional level more and more laws for the purification of the air. Many companies also introduce sustainability guidelines and ask their partners for assistance in achieving these goals. Sustainability requirements are also installed in project specifications, and contractors in the construction industry should expect these requirements to become more stringent.

“It is clear that the electromobility has global impact, but we must not forget the local impact,” says Benoit. “One type of pollutants in vehicle gases is a precursor for lung and heart disease. Therefore, it is important that we manage this problem for our local residents, apart from the entire worldwide question.”

Charging processes and performance of the fleet are key issues

The introduction of electromobility in the construction industry has its challenges. The main problem is, as well as passenger cars, during the installation and expansion of the loading infrastructure. For construction machinery, there is an additional challenge that these machines are used in the construction or maintenance of the infrastructure.

The excavator ECR25 Electric and the wheel loader L25 Electric from Volvo, which are already available in certain markets and are expelled later this year, set lithium-ion batteries and can be charged with a 220/240 volt socket how they also use many larger household appliances. The machines are also equipped with quick charging options that can be charged almost completely within a few hours. Since there are rapid successes in research and development in this area, options such as mobile charging facilities for recharging in remote areas could be available in the near future.

On the one hand, there is the problem of charging, on the other hand, there is a problem to keep the cargo. For construction projects usually time pressure, and construction workers often work almost continuously. This is one of the reasons why Volvo CE has begun with smaller machines. Compact excavators and wheel loaders are used more frequently in lighter applications, as with utilities, landscaping and agriculture. Your batteries store enough energy for a typical working day. The next step for the industry will be medium-sized and large electric machines. Progress in this field are illustrated by Volvo CE by the 22 tonnes of heavy EC230 electric rod prototype.

“Our customers will not notice a difference between electric machinery and diesel models”

This is associated with the performance. The reality or feeling that electric machines do not bring the same performance as their diesel counterparts could delay the use of electric machines. With the Machinery of Volvo CE there is no question marks in terms of Puncto performance, as the manufacturer. The excavator ECR25 Electric and the wheel loader L25 Electric have almost the same performance data as their diesel-powered equivalents.

“Our customers will not notice any difference in the performance between the electric machines and the diesel models,” says Lars Arnold, Electromobility Product Manager at Volvo CE. “In fact, with the electric machines, they enjoy several advantages thanks to the lack of a diesel engine, for example lower noise, fewer machine vibrations and no exhaust gases.”

That’s not theory. In practical use, the machines fulfill the high expectations of the contractors. Baltic Sands Inc. From the United States specializing in environmental luxury construction projects and real estate, in recent months, as part of a pilot project with Volvo CE, an electric rod and electric wheel loader has been used for projects in Southern California.

“In my opinion, they make the same as diesel machines in terms of productivity. That surprised me, “says Jacques Marais, Director at Baltic Sands. “They also support our eco-friendly and responsible ideology. We like to think that we are ahead of the evolutionary step in this direction.”The South Coast Air Quality Management District, which recreates a long history of supporting innovative solutions, has invested two million US dollars in the pilot project.

“This is a great opportunity to observe electric rod and electric wheel loader in practical use,” says Benoit. “It’s also a chance to develop the charging systems. These are all important parts of this puzzle to find out how this technology can be used.”Volvo CE plans to publish the results of the pilot project this summer.

Benefits beyond the construction industry

The consequences of the use of electrical construction machinery will probably be felt beyond the construction industry. Due to the low noise pollution and emission freedom, these machines could be used there, where construction machines were unpractical so far, such as indoors, fruit plantations and fish farm plants.

In addition, further developments can be used in electrical machines in other electric vehicles and vice versa. The Volvo Group has recently established a new business unit to promote innovation in batteries and charging infrastructure. Volvo Trucks leads the truck industry into electromobility, and the construction machinery industry also benefits from these findings. The same applies to Volvo Buses, whose electric buses reduce emissions and noise pollution in cities.

The social impact of these progress is likely to be considerable. Since the construction industry is responsible for a substantial share of greenhouse gas emissions around the world, it is obliged to search for solutions. “The construction industry is immediately prior to extensive transformation,” says Dr. Gallant, “which in turn is essentially affecting the whole world.”

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6 thoughts on “Quiet, clean and powerful: Electromobility in the construction industry”

  1. These Volvo products are a mute contribution to climate protection, improved occupational safety and cost-effective operation.

  2. In this industry, 99% will decide on the price. And there will be suddenly very fast in the coming years. If such a device runs for its lifetime cheaper electrically, the diesel is quickly gone. And the providers who do not want to admit that they are then quickly gone! Here Volvo is actually very well positioned.

  3. I worked in 2002 with a excavator manufacturer, which has also made electrically operated forklifts in the USA. At that time, I made the proposal to replace the rear weight through batteries and to use clear water hydraulics from Danfoss (electric hydraulic pump) This proposal is then disappeared in the drawer and never reappeared, allegedly even a patent was purchased. Well, maybe good ideas are sometimes through ..

  4. For wheel loaders, which only require a very limited operating radius, how to know them for district heating systems, where only in the “courtyard” drive, or even at a loadingbook, I thought so often, whether one is not a direct connection by crane arm / Bahn, which leads the cable floating, could accomplish.
    Exercised on a few years, such “special solution” should be allowed to reindeer, or?

  5. This post is a one-sided lobeshan on Volvo. Especially in the area of lightweight construction equipment Gibe there are many medium-sized manufacturers who have been offering electric drive for longer machines. Already at the Bauma 2019 this was already shown and produced in small quantities.
    In my opinion, the high proportion of CO2 emissions does not result from the machine side but from the plants for the production of building materials. Plants for the production of cement and asphalt contribute to a significant extent to the CO2 load.


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