From the
organisers of
Hillhead logo

First Volvo EC380E Hybrid in Europe proves its worth

Eichstetter are seeing fuel savings up to 15% in comparison with the EC380E Hybrid’s conventional machine equivalent
Eichstetter are seeing fuel savings up to 15% in comparison with the EC380E Hybrid’s conventional machine equivalent

German sand and gravel firm says new hybrid excavator delivering promised fuel-efficiency savings

THE first EC380E Hybrid excavator from Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) to be put to work on a customer site in Europe is already proving it can deliver big savings.

Family firm Eichstetter GmbH were the first in Europe to operate a Volvo EC380E Hybrid large crawler excavator, which is said to deliver the same power and performance as its conventional equivalent but with greater fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions.


And according to Eichstetter, this is certainly something they are witnessing at their gravel pit near Fürth, in Germany, where the machine has been hard at work since Autumn 2022, excavating a Tertiary gravel deposit that was laid down some 10–15 million years ago.

The company, which has been measuring the performance of its new machine versus a conventional EC380E, says the results are impressive, with the hybrid technology delivering fuel savings of up to 15%.

‘The Volvo EC380E Hybrid is more economical,’ said Ludwig Eichstetter, co-managing director of Eichstetter GmbH. ‘It has about the same fuel consumption as our Volvo EC300E, but where the EC380E manages about 2,500m3 a day, the Volvo EC380E Hybrid manages more than 3,000.’

Featuring unique hydraulic hybrid Volvo technology, the EC380E Hybrid harvests free energy from the boom down motion. This regular and powerful lowering movement pressurizes a hydraulic accumulator, which, in turn, uses this energy to drive the auxiliary hydraulic motor to support the engine system when needed – all whilst delivering the same level of control and performance as a conventional EC380E, including the ability to operate in ECO and hybrid modes in parallel.

Depending on the type of application, Volvo CE’s hybrid technology promises fuel savings of up to 17%, as well as CO2 emission savings of around 15%. And this is something Eichstetter were determined to put to the test.

The firm already has a conventional EC380E in its fleet, so comparing the two machines over a period of weeks was straightforward. The EC380E Hybrid delivered a fuel saving of around 10–15% depending on the use and operator handling the machine.

Mr Eichstetter said: ‘Fuel savings are higher when the machine is optimally positioned on the deposit. Lowering and lifting must in the right proportion so that the energy gain is optimized. To fully exploit this potential also depends a lot on the driver. Driving the hybrid machine is a constant learning process.’

Machines from Volvo CE have long been the equipment of choice for Eichstetter, who value their efficiency, but the company is also committed to more environmentally friendly extraction practices. As such, modern hybrid technology is attractive.

The firm was interested in a Volvo EC300E Hybrid, but this was deemed too small for their requirements. Instead, a conventional EC380E was ordered with a removable counterweight to help with transportation.

However, when the new Volvo EC380E Hybrid was announced in the summer of 2022, Eichstetter immediately placed an order and just a few weeks later became the proud owners of the first Volvo EC380E with hybrid option to be delivered in Europe.

In just a few months, the hybrid machine has proved its worth and the firm says it is extremely satisfied. Nevertheless, Eichstetter say they will continue to document its fuel consumption to learn how to get the most out of their new machine.


Latest Jobs

Quality and Technical Manager

Fortis have a vacancy for an experienced Quality and Technical Manager to assume full responsibility for Incinerator Bottom Ash (IBA) and IBA Aggregate product quality