Volvo Construction Equipment has been offering electric machines for several years, including small and medium-size wheel loaders, mini excavators, and now an electric road asphalt compactor. Earlier this year, the company also announced it was testing an electric version of its 24-ton EC320 excavator, which was on display for the first time in North America at Conexpo 2023. Customer pilots are starting soon in the U.S., including with Waste Management.
The EC230E battery-electric excavator is considered a step up in an industry where electric vehicles thus far have mostly been small, compact models. The unit is based on the conventional diesel-powered EC220E, and will deliver the same performance, if not better, with the added benefits of zero emissions, low noise, and low total cost of ownership. The electric version is expected to reduce energy running costs by 60-70%, compared to diesel-powered machines.
According to company officials it can work a full day (eight hours) with high-power charging during a lunch break. It is fully compatible with a Combo2-Plug, a global standard dc charging system for electric vehicles up to 500 kW.
Based on the hydraulics of the diesel EC220E, the company says the electric excavator offers excellent controllability and efficiently uses energy. High pump input power permits highly responsive operation, resulting in greater productivity and fast cycle times. The main control valve, electronic control system and an advanced Eco mode reduce power losses without curbing performance.
Important hydraulic functions include a summation system that combines the flow of both hydraulic pumps to ensure quick cycle times and high productivity. Arm priority gives priority to the arm operation for faster cycle times in leveling and for increased bucket filling when digging.
Swing priority gives priority to swing functions for faster simultaneous operations. In addition to the resulting increased swing force, the machine comes with a boom swing priority valve; this enhances controllability of the swing and boom operation – making it ideal for loading trucks.
A boom float function lets pump power for boom lowering be saved or used for other functions, reducing the cycle time. And a regeneration system prevents cavitation and provides flow to other movements during simultaneous operations for maximum output. Other capabilities include power boost to increase all digging and lifting forces; while holding valves prevent the boom and arm from creeping.
Two variable displacement axial piston pumps provide the main supply, with a maximum for each of 207 lpm (55 gpm). Implement relief pressure is 363 bar (5,260 psi). Variable displacement axial piston motors handle travel functions, and a fixed displacement axial piston motor controls slew movements.
This is a general-purpose machine designed for extraction, earthmoving and grading for site preparation in the building segment, as well as waste and scrap handling in the recycling and waste segment.
Volvo Construction Equipment