Volvo brings first commercial electric vehicle to Asia


The ECR25 electric excavator from Volvo Construction equipment is being launched across Asia. The 2.5-tonne battery-powered compact excavator is the first electric machine by a major manufacturer to arrive in the Asian market – launching first in Korea with further roll out planned for China, Japan and Singapore.

Demand for electric equipment has been growing across the region, prompted by stronger emission regulations, government incentives and an urgent desire to build more sustainably. The ECR25 has already proved a success in Europe and North America since it was unveiled in 2019, thanks to its ability to match power and performance with zero emissions, near silence and a much more comfortable work environment for operators.

Korea was chosen as the first market for Asia due to its adoption of new technologies and innovative ways of working – as well as its quick response to building an electric charging infrastructure.

“Increasingly, authorities are recognising the need to work more sustainably and embrace new technologies that will allow us to tackle our global climate change crisis with equipment that provides less noise, fewer vibrations and no exhaust fumes,” says Jaetack Lim, head of market Korea at Volvo CE Region Asia. “We are proud to be leading the charge by being the first major manufacturer to offer electric solutions to a region that is so significant to the global construction equipment market.”

The introduction to the Asia market represents the next step in Volvo CE’s ambition to move its range of compact excavators and wheel loaders to electric, stopping entirely new diesel engine-based development of these models. As such, the market can expect more electric compact equipment to be introduced in the future. The launch also represents the company’s continued investment into building the world we want to live in – with electric solutions forming a major part of that ambition.

The ECR25 Electric excavator comes with an integrated on-board charger allowing customers to charge from 0 to 80% in under six hours. With an optional fast off-board charger (380V-420V three phase), it takes just one hour to charge from 0 to 80%. For the most accurate picture, Volvo dealers can calculate the expected operating time and optimum charging solution based on customers’ activities.

It is the ideal solution for customers in Asia looking to meet emission regulations while maintaining the same levels of productivity they have come to expect from its diesel counterpart. Numerous applications range from agriculture and landscaping through to utilities and building – with the added benefit that operators can run the machine in noise sensitive areas and out of standard hours, as well as in low-carbon projects and indoors, without the need for costly fume extraction systems.

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Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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