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Collins take UK’s first Volvo EC300E Hybrids

Volvo EC300E Hybrid

HVO-powered Hybrid excavators deliver 17% greater fuel efficiency and 90% lower carbon emissions

HAVING taken delivery of the UK’s first Volvo EC750E and EC950E excavators and L25 Electric wheeled loader from SMT GB, Collins Earthworks have now added two more pioneering machines to their fleet, a pair of Volvo EC300E Hybrid excavators.

Featuring Volvo’s novel hydraulic-hybrid technology, these machines harvest ‘free’ energy generated by the downward movement of the boom to achieve 17% greater fuel efficiency than conventional models – with no trade-offs in controllability or performance.


To further reduce their environmental impact, Collins are running the EC300E Hybrid excavators – the first of their kind in the UK – on hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel, which decreases net CO2 emissions by up to 90%. No modifications were required for the excavators to accept this alternative fuel and they behave the same as if they were powered by diesel.

‘Sustainability is an integral part of our company ethos and profile, and so it is important to us to invest in hybrid and fully electric solutions. We want to be the company paving the way for other contractors towards carbon-neutral construction,’ said Nathan Warner, site supervisor at Collins.

Collins work nationally on some of the country’s largest contracts, operating more than 1,000 items of plant. Around 85% of this equipment is Volvo, as the earthmoving specialists run exclusively Volvo crawler and wheeled excavators, articulated haulers, and wheel loaders, supplied by the brand’s distribution and service partner in Great Britain, SMT GB.

‘The team at SMT GB have given us a professional service for many years, ensuring high uptime and productivity from our Volvo equipment, and in effect helping to keep the company running. We want to stay at the forefront of the industry and so it means a lot to us to be the first in the UK to have the new Volvo EC300E Hybrids,’ said Mr Warner.

Collins have put one of its EC300E Hybrids to work in a team of 10 Volvo crawler excavators and 23 articulated haulers – with more to come – on the SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton Gateway project next to the M1 at Junction 15.

Over three years, Collins will move 4,500,000 cubic metres of earth around the 480-acre site at a rate of 100,000 cubic metres per week in peak times to create plots for distribution buildings and a lorry park, a strategic rail freight interchange, acoustic bunds, and landscaped areas.

‘We have a lot of work to do, and everything has been precisely calculated at the tender stage, so productivity and fuel efficiency are crucial to us. Any small gains that we make cumulatively add up to a lot, helping us to keep on schedule and within budget and to minimize our impact on local residents and the environment,’ Mr Warner explained.

In this repetitive dig and dump application, where excavators are operating 11 hours a day for five days a week, the EC300E Hybrid is said to offer a straightforward solution with a big payback.

‘The fuel efficiency is amazing, and I can’t feel any difference compared with a traditional digger. It’s also really comfortable and easy to use and the controllability is fantastic. It’s great to be operating such a state-of-the-art machine,’ said operator Jack Sewell.

‘We are really impressed with how the EC300E Hybrids have been performing so far and we plan to invest in more Volvo hybrid and electric solutions from SMT GB. This will help us limit our fuel usage and carbon footprint for the benefit of both clients and wider society,’ Mr Warner concluded.


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