Volvo CE invest in electric wheel loader production
SEK65 million investment in Arvika facility to allow for phased production of mid-size and larger machines
AS part of their ambition towards industry transformation through sustainable solutions, Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) have announced a milestone investment into the production of electric wheel loaders at their plant in Arvika, Sweden.
The SEK65 million (c.US$6.3 million) investment from Volvo Group will allow the Arvika factory – which specializes in the production of medium and large wheel loaders – to expand its facilities with a new building, allowing for the phased introduction of new electric wheel loaders.
This is not only a milestone in the plant’s almost 140-year history, but also a significant moment for Volvo CE and their determination to be entirely fossil free by 2040 – in line with the aims of the Paris Agreement and as laid out in the manufacturer’s industry-leading Science-Based Target goals. It is also a pioneering step forward in the company’s ambition for 35% of its machines sold to be electric by 2030.
Coming soon after an announcement to invest in electric haulers at Volvo CE’s production facility in Braås, Sweden, it is also a signpost that the company is committed to achieving more sustainable solutions for customers across all its product lines.
These announcements are part of an investment strategy that allows Volvo CE to advance electric solutions across its production facilities, including the Konz facility in Germany, Belley in France, and Changwon in South Korea, where other electric machines are made.
Arvika site manager Mikael Liljestrand said: ‘This is a clear signal of our commitment to building the world we want to live in. It is more than 40 years since we last invested in a new building and what better reason now than to invest in our future, our planet and the next generation.
‘We know that this is not only important to our customers and stakeholders, who rightly have high expectations of us, but it is also close to our hearts to be part of something bigger in building our future.’
Volvo CE have already successfully introduced compact electric wheel loaders to the global market with the L20 Electric and L25 Electric, together with the ECR25 Electric, ECR18 Electric and EC18 Electric compact excavators and the mid-size EC230 Electric excavator.
Thanks to the latest investment, a new c.1,500 sq m building will be erected at Arvika, allowing the facility to free up areas inside its assembly factory to be able to build electric wheel loaders.
Whilst it has not yet been announced which models will begin the electric transformation and precisely when, production of both electric wheel loaders and more traditional wheel loaders fitted with combustion engines will continue for now on the same production line.
Volvo CE have said they will ensure a phased introduction model by model, considering all aspects of the electric ecosystem as they do so, including infrastructure requirements, charging solutions, battery handling, and business models. The result, they say, will be reliable mid-size and larger electric wheel loaders that can easily be integrated into customers’ businesses.
This is not the first sustainability initiative at the Arvika facility. Despite increasing production last year, the factory managed to reduce its internal climate footprint by 350 tonnes of CO2 thanks to a variety of emission-reduction efforts.
‘Our goal at the factory in Arvika, as well as Volvo CE and the entire Volvo Group, is to be climate-smart and to produce fossil-free machines,’ continued Mr Liljestrand. ‘Together, we are quite clear that we want to lead this transformation and be the driving force of more sustainable ways of working for the benefit of our planet. This investment is Arvika’s exciting first step towards electrification.’
Building work at Arvika is set to begin later this year, with further announcements to come on when production will commence.
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