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Volvo CE unveil electric compact wheel loader concept

Prototype LX2 compact electric loader

Prototype LX2 wheel loader demonstrated at Volvo Group’s fourth Innovation Summit in Berlin

VOLVO Construction Equipment demonstrated their latest concept machine – the LX2 electric compact wheel loader – at the Volvo Group’s fourth Innovation Summit, which took place this week in Berlin.

The prototype machine is said to deliver zero emissions, significantly lower noise levels, improved efficiency and reduced operational costs, compared with its conventional counterparts.

The LX2 was presented alongside autonomous and electromobility innovations from across the Volvo Group. The event focused on infrastructure and transport in cities of the future as well as how new concepts can have a positive impact on society through increased transport efficiency, reduced environmental impact and improved traffic safety.

At the summit, Volvo CE also demonstrated their EX2 fully-electric compact excavator prototype and presented the company’s electric site research project.

The LX2 is a second-generation prototype that is part of a research project and is not commercially available.

To make the machine electric, the combustion engine has been replaced with a lithium ion battery. This stores enough electric energy to operate the machine for 8h in its most common applications, such as light infrastructure construction and landscaping.

The LX2 also incorporates two dedicated electric motors, one for the drivetrain and one for the hydraulics. Decoupling the subsystems has led to higher efficiency in both the systems and the entire machine.

‘The LX2 is a revolutionary zero-emissions prototype that offers improved efficiency and lower operational costs, without compromising on machine performance,’ said emerging technologies manager Ulrich Fass. ‘It incorporates the latest advanced chemistry battery technology.

‘As it’s electric, no particulate matter, nitrogen oxide or carbon dioxide are released into the environment. This, together with the fact that it has extremely low noise levels, makes it ideal for use in cities and densely populated areas, as it can be used without disturbing people.

‘This is the same for the EX2 100% electric compact excavator, therefore the machines would be ideally suited to working alongside each other.’

Like the LX2, the EX2 is also part of a research project and is not commercially available. This prototype machine is said to deliver zero emissions, 10 times higher efficiency, 10 times lower noise levels and reduced total cost of ownership compared with its conventional counterparts.

At the summit, Volvo CE also presented their electric site research project, which aims to transform the quarry and aggregates industry by reducing carbon emissions by up to 95% and total cost of ownership by up to 25%.

Volvo CE and their customer Skanska Sweden are currently testing the electric site solution in a real production environment for 10 weeks at Skanska’s Vikan Kross Quarry, near Gothenburg.

The system incorporates prototype electric and autonomous machines, including the HX2 autonomous, battery-electric load carrier, the LX1 hybrid wheel loader and the EX1 cable-connected excavator. As with the LX2 and EX2, these machines are part of a research project and are not commercially available.

‘The electrification of construction equipment will produce cleaner, quieter and more efficient machines – this represents the future of our industry,’ concluded Patrik Lundblad, senior-vice president of technology at Volvo CE. ‘We are currently in a period of exponential technology growth and are at the start of a paradigm shift.

‘At Volvo CE we are developing technologies connected to electromobility, automation and connectivity that will benefit our customers and the environment by contributing to increased machine performance, productivity, efficiency, safety and sustainability. Our future products and services will play an important part in building a sustainable society.’

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