A developer in California is testing Volvo Construction Equipment’s electric excavators and wheel loaders to test their commitment to environmental sustainability and whether they can maintain a firm foothold on the construction site even in the event of a power outage.
In a Southern California pilot project, Baltic Sands uses Volvo ECR25 electric compact excavators and L25 electric loaders. The Baltic Sea South Coast Air Quality Management Zone provided Volvo Construction Equipment with US$2 million in funding to promote the accelerated implementation of zero-emission technology on construction sites
Throughout the project for building housing, these machines are powered by a set of solar panels. ECR25 excavators and L25 loaders are charged at night and during lunch.
“We work in very soft ground conditions,” Marias said. “There is a lot of traction resistance on the slope. We put the machine under a constant load. Even under these harsh conditions, we can use the motor to complete various tasks every day.”
Marais noted that the much reduced noise levels and vibrations of the machine have made Baltic Sea operators more fatigue-resistant. Moreover, operators can immediately access power and speak normally with other staff there.
“With these motors, noise is no longer a factor-you can have a conversation with the operator as if they were standing nearby,” says Aaron Anderson, a Volvo Construction Equipment and Services dealer in Corona, California. “Maintenance is not really a problem to worry about.”
To further simplify charging, Baltic plans to test these two units with battery packs. The company is also studying how to integrate the electric motor with its diesel-powered fleet.
“This product essentially fills a real need,” Marais said. “I noticed this, and I hope we did it right as early adopters of electric vehicles. I am very pleased to have it on our construction site, and I am looking forward to how it will be in the future.”