Construction equipment is going electric, Volvo CE now favors electric over diesel for smaller machines

Fred Lambert, Electrek, Jan. 17th 2019 9:39 am ET

Volvo CE, the Volvo Group’s construction equipment subsidiary, announced that it will stop development of diesel engine-based compact wheel loaders and compact excavators in order to sell electric versions instead.

The electrification of transport is also spreading to other industries.

Now construction and mining equipment are being increasingly electrified.

We previously reported on a dumper truck that became the world’s largest electric vehicle with a massive 700 kWh battery pack.

Now Volvo CE, which already had several electric programs, is announcing a range of 4 new electric compact excavators and wheel loaders.

The company said that it will “stop new diesel engine-based development” on the models that are going electric – like the L28 wheel loader pictured above.

Volvo CE says that the move comes after they received a great reaction to their electric concept machines:

“With this move, Volvo CE is the first construction equipment manufacturer to commit to an electric future for its compact machine range. This follows an overwhelmingly favorable reaction from the market after the successful unveiling of a number of concept machines in recent years, and by working closely with customers. This move is aligned with the Volvo Group’s strategic focus on electromobility in all business areas.”

Last year, we reported on the company unveiling several new electric prototypes for an all-electric quarry project.

Now they are talking about actual products that customers are going to be able to buy as soon as next year.

Volvo CE’s President, Melker Jernberg, commented on today’s announcement:

“Volvo CE is delivering on its commitment of ‘Building Tomorrow’ by driving leadership in electromobility and delivering sustainable solutions that support customer success. The technology we have been developing is now sufficiently robust and this, together with changes in customer behavior and a heightened regulatory environment, means that now is the right time to commit to electromobility in our compact equipment ranges in the future.”

The company says that the first new electric machines are going to be unveiled at the Bauma exhibition in April 2019 and followed by a gradual “market-by-market introduction and ramp up in 2020.”