Volvo marks delivery of first electric excavator

Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) recently delivered its first electric excavator to a customer in France as part of a trial run. The new compact excavator is called the ECR25 Electric and falls into the 2.5 tonne range.

The machine boasts zero carbon emissions and is remarkably quiet. It’s powered by 48-volt lithium-ion batteries and an electric motor. The batteries can last for up to eight hours before needing to be recharged. Spac, the French contractor to whom the ECR25 Electric was delivered, will use it to dig trenches at a golf course, according to KHL.

“We really believe in this,” Volvo CE President Melker Jernberg said when the machine was shown at Bauma 2019. “We believe that the technology is now mature enough.”

Elodie Guyot, electric compact excavator project manager for Volvo CE, said he was thrilled with Spac’s purchase:

“It’s exciting for us to see this machine at a client’s construction site. It’s in a very quiet and peaceful area where residents want that quietness and peacefulness to be respected, so it’s crucial to have a machine that meets this need.”

Spac personnel expressed similar views. “For residents and cities in general, it makes our worksites more acceptable because it limits carbon emissions and noise disturbance,” said Benjamin Silvnet, site manager for Spac.

Meanwhile, Alexandre Birot, a Spac machine operator, lauded the excavator’s lack of noise.

“When we talk to the guy in the trench we don’t have to yell, we talk normally and he can hear everything,” Birot explained. “With a traditional excavator we first have to turn the engine off for him to be able to hear. What’s more, when we spend the whole day in the trench, usually he would inhale a lot of fumes but now there’s no exhaust gas for him to inhale. If there were only electric machines in the company that would be amazing.”

Jeffrey Boyle

Jeffrey Boyle is from Madison, Wisconsin, where he obtained his bachelor's degree in business communications. When he's not reading or writing about construction equipment and machinery, he can probably be found walking--or being walked by--his three Boston Terriers.