Electric excavator with optimised energy consumption
To reduce the particulate matter and greenhouse gases generated by construction sites, Volvo Construction Equipment, Bosch-Rexroth and EDF are developing an electric excavator capable of working both on battery or hydrogen fuel cell, and with energy-efficient hydraulic systems. The project, endorsed by Tenerrdis and supported by La Ruche Industrielle, should result in a number of prototypes by 2024.
Construction sites using plant with combustion engines generate diverse externalities such as greenhouse gases, dust and noise. To reduce them, and in particular to progress towards the decarbonisation of practices, as the EU has set a target of carbon neutrality by 2050, Volvo Construction Equipment, Bosch-Rexroth and EDF decided to jointly develop an energy-efficient electric excavator and associated charging solutions.
The project in PRACTICE
Led by Volvo Compact Equipment SAS, a subsidiary of the Volvo group based in L’Ain French Departement and specialising in the production of compact excavators, the project aims to:
- develop a clean energy source offering for a 5-6 tonne mini-excavator
- optimise the machine’s energy consumption and autonomy with innovative hydraulic systems
- and develop fast, mobile and efficient charging solutions.
The project most’s innovative aspects are:
1/ the development of a modular architecture allowing the use of either batteries or H2 fuel cells as wished
2/ the development of a complete solution – “clean energy machine + quick mobile charging means”, providing one-day working autonomy with the shortest possible machine downtime.
With a 39-month term, the project comprises 2 phases:
- 2021 to April 2023: design and development of one or more machines
- May 2023 to January 2024: experimentation in real conditions and measurement of environmental and technological benefits of the innovations deployed
The exected beefits
For Volvo Compact Equipment:
To expand the commercial offering of sustainable heavy plant while improving their energy efficiency and to confirm the company’s leadership in this segment.
To demonstrate its ability to respond to the climate emergency and to meet the commitments made by the Volvo group.
For Bosch-Rexroth :
To bring onto the market a complete electrohydraulic system (components and software) which reduces the energy consumption to such a level that heavy plant can work with a carbon-free energy source while having autonomy equivalent to that of a combustion engine. Therefore, to help heavy plant manufacturers to address the climate challenge.
For EDF :
To develop an offering for zero-carbon construction sites, and to reduce the environmental footprint of the EDF group’s construction sites.
a word from the project leaders
« Developing electric heavy plant is of course a good thing. However, to encourage their mass adoption, you’ve got to do more. First, suitable charging solutions need to be designed, and then the machines’ energy efficiency must be improved to directly increase their working autonomy.»
Christophe Gostomski, Advanced Engineering Project Manager at Volvo Compact Equipment
« Collaboration in a project such as ECR5X EMOB allows all those involved to discuss more openly and to better understand the challenges for each one’s speciality.
While complying with rules of ethics, those involved can attain a better level of understanding of the stakes, and thus provide a better response. The overall relevance of the project will ultimately be improved. »
Philippe Fillon, Commercial Director at Bosch-Rexroth Vénissieux
Window: ADEIP (Accélération du développement des systèmes innovants performants – Acceleration of the development of powerful innovative systems)
Published by R.Descamps