INDUSTRY FIRST: Volvo CE to go electric on compact machines, discontinuing diesel equivalents


In an industry-first move, Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) has announced that in 2020 it will start the launch of an electric range of Volvo-branded compact wheel loaders and compact excavators.

In a pioneering commitment to future technology, Volvo CE has announced that by mid-2020 it will begin to launch a range of electric compact excavators (EC15 to EC27) and wheel loaders (L20 to L28), stopping new diesel engine-based development of these models.

The first public appearances of all-electric versions of the company’s smaller wheel loaders and excavators will be at this year’s Bauma show in April.

Volvo Construction Equipment president Melker Jernberg said, “Volvo CE is delivering on its commitment of ‘Building Tomorrow’ by driving leadership in electromobility and delivering sustainable solutions that support customer success.

“The technology we have been developing is now sufficiently robust and this, together with changes in customer behavior and a heightened regulatory environment, means that now is the right time to commit to electromobility in our compact equipment ranges in the future.”

While the company stresses that diesel combustion currently remains the most appropriate power source for its larger machines, electric propulsion and battery technology is proving particularly suited to Volvo’s smaller equipment. With research and development investment now focused on the rapid development of its electric compact wheel loaders and excavators, Volvo CE is taking a step towards diesel-free compact equipment in the future. The new announcements come off the back of the company’s prior activity in regard to developing electric-powered vehicles.

Don’t miss the March 2019 edition of iVT magazine which will contain a full preview of Bauma 2019 and a profile of Volvo CE’s Electric Site project, where its prototype electric vehicles were showcased in Sweden at the end of last year.

Uwe Müller, chief project manager – advanced engineering, Volvo Construction Equipment will present ‘Electric Site: The future of quarries is electric’ at the Electric & Hybrid Industrial Vehicle Technology Conference, which takes place during iVT Expo in Cologne, Germany on February 13-14, 2019. 

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James joined the Industrial Vehicle Technology International team in 2017. Previously he was Assistant Editor on an engineering title for several years and has worked for various other trade magazines before that. James is happily married and has a young daughter and son who keep him busy.

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