Volvo Construction Equipment has introduced three new electric compact machines, the L20 Electric wheel loader and EC18 Electric and ECR18 Electric excavators. The units join the current L25 and ECR25 electric offerings, and give Volvo the industry’s largest range of electric-drive machines, according to company officials.
Volvo CE’s growing range of electric-drive equipment is said to provide customers with a cleaner, quieter and more comfortable work environment. Melker Jernberg, president of Volvo CE, said “We are proud to be leading our industry’s fight against climate change as the manufacturer with the world’s largest range of electric machines. Not only are we delivering real-world solutions for a more sustainable way of working but we are adding further power to our customers’ business with the widest possible range of choice to best fit their needs.”
These latest introductions are the next step in Volvo CE’s ambition to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 — alongside development of hydrogen fuel cell systems and more-sustainable internal combustion engine products — and are part of Volvo Group’s target to have at least 35% of its total range of vehicles fully electric by 2030.
The L20 Electric features a 1.8-ton payload and a parallel-type linkage offering great visibility over the attachment being used, sizeable lifting height, as well as 100% parallel movements — making it suited for fork applications. Expected to deliver up to six hours of active work per charge, the loader comes with a choice of battery pack (33kWh or 40kWh) and will reduce maintenance by 30%. In addition to quiet running, operations are also enhanced thanks to the new automatic park brake with hill-hold functionality and a range of customizable work modes.
The short but tough 1.8-ton ECR18 Electric is set to provide the same best-in-class stability and operator experience customers expect from its diesel counterpart but with the benefit of low noise, low vibration and more responsive hydraulics due to the immediate torque. Delivering an anticipated four hours of active work per charge, depending on the environment and task in hand, the ECR18 Electric also benefits from an ultra-short tail radius (suited for confined spaces). It has been built with durability in mind, from its high profile counterweight to all-around steel panels and hoses routed inside the boom.
Easy to operate and transport, the nimble EC18 Electric offers customers a cost-efficient compact excavator working in 1.8-ton applications. Its variable undercarriage retracts to less than 1 m and expands up to 1.35 m, allowing it to squeeze into the tightest of areas, while the machine’s design ensures the right frame corner, swing post and cylinder stay within the tracks’ width, resulting in maximum visibility and a reduced risk of machine damage when working alongside obstacles. As well as ergonomic controls, a spacious cab and a range of customizable settings, it also offers the option of an enclosed and heated cab.
Hydraulics for all three machines is essentially unchanged from the diesel versions. For example, the EC18E has piston and gear pumps with maximum flows of 48 and 34 lpm, respectively, and maximum operating pressure of 170 bar. The main hydraulic system includes a flow-sharing and load-sensing main control valve, double-acting circuit for accessories, and boom cylinder cushioning. Two-speed hydraulic motors with reduction gears power the drivetrain; and a radial-piston hydraulic motor with integrated shockless valve handles the swing function. In the L20H, a gear pump supplies the working hydraulics controlled by a double-acting, 3-spool main control valve. Rated flow is 55.6 lpm with maximum pressure of 200 bar. A separate pump supplies a single cylinder for the steering, an open center system designed for high axial loads and high travel speeds.
All three machines come with an integrated on-board charger allowing them to charge from 0 to 100% in under six hours. With an optional fast off-board charger, the L20 Electric will fully charge in under just two hours, while the ECR18 Electric and EC18 Electric will charge up to 80% in up to 1.25 hours. With any of these machines, customers can operate in noise sensitive areas and outside standard hours, as well as low-carbon projects and indoors, without the need for costly fume-extraction systems.
The company plans to introduce a new fleet management system designed for remote monitoring of the electric models. The Electric Machine Management Application (EMMA) will provide insights into battery level and remaining working hours, charging status, geographic location and more to help customers boost uptime.
The three new models represent Volvo CE’s commitment to move its range of compact wheel loaders and compact excavators to electric and stop development of new diesel variants. Customers can place orders online now for delivery in 2022.
Volvo Construction Equipment