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Volvo CE demonstrated the prototype LX2 electric compact wheel loader at the Volvo Group Innovation Summit in Berlin.
Volvo CE demonstrated the prototype LX2 electric compact wheel loader at the Volvo Group Innovation Summit in Berlin.

Prototypes unveiled as emissions-free trial begins

Volvo Construction Equipment has unveiled new concept electric machines, coinciding with the trial of what could be the world’s first “emissions-free” quarry.

The LX2 prototype electric compact wheel loader, unveiled at Volvo CE’s innovation summit in Berlin on 12 September, features zero emissions, reduced noise levels, improved efficiency and reduced operational costs.

“The LX2 is a revolutionary zero emissions prototype that offers improved efficiency and lower operational costs, without compromising on machine performance,” Volvo CE’s emerging technologies manager Ulrich Faß, stated.

The LX2 has been launched just as Volvo CE has commenced a 10-week, 22 million Euro ($AUD35.5m) research project at Skanska’s Vikan Kross quarry in Sweden to replace  diesel-powered dump trucks, excavators and wheel loaders.

The Electric Site project aims to transform the quarry and aggregates industry by reducing carbon emissions by up to 95 per cent and total cost of ownership by up to 25 per cent.

The project incorporates electric and autonomous Volvo machines, drawing on the electromobility and automation expertise of the Volvo Group. It aims to electrify each transport stage in a quarry – from excavation to primary crushing, and transport to secondary crushing, with a negligible amount of diesel used.

Electric vehicles

The prototypes tested at the quarry near Gothenburg include the HX2 autonomous, battery-electric road carriers, the 70-tonne dual-powered, cable-connected EX1 excavator and the LX1 electric hybrid wheel loader.

Representatives from the Swedish Energy Agency, Linköping University, Mälardalen University, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Swedish Aggregate Association were present when Volvo CE and its customer Skanska marked the start of the 10-week test in late August.

“It is exciting to finally see how the Volvo prototype machines work together, along with the charging systems. I feel extremely proud to be part of this innovation – and to work closely with such talented colleagues at Volvo CE and Skanska,” Vikan Kross Quarry production manager Joakim Käpynen said.

Skanska Sweden CEO Gunnar Hagman told AggNet: “This is the first time that anything like this has been attempted in the quarrying industry and, if successful, Electric Site could serve as a blueprint for transforming the efficiency, safety and environmental impact of quarries around the world.”

Volvo CE president Melker Jernberg said of the 10-week trial: “We have had to completely rethink the way we work and how we look upon machine efficiency – pushing the boundaries of our competence.”

“The total site solution [with] Skanska is not a commercial solution for sale today and we will evaluate the outcome of the tests but we have learnt so much already, elements of which will be fed into our future product development.”

Electric excavator

At the innovation summit, Volvo CE also demonstrated its EX2 fully electric compact excavator prototype. Both the EX2 and the LX2 are part of the company’s research and development initiatives and are not commercially available.

The EX2 is designed to deliver zero emissions, 10 times higher efficiency, 10 times lower noise levels and reduced total cost of ownership, compared to its conventional counterparts.

 

More reading

Electrifying research for the quarry of the future
Innovations hint at all-electric future
Supplier debuts electric-powered prototypes
Playing the right hand in the load and haul game

 

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Saturday, 20 October, 2018 04:54am
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