Volvo’s new electric compact excavator can do everything diesel-powered models can
By Jenny LescohierSeptember 28, 2021
Volvo Construction Equipment unveiled its ECR25 electric excavator at The Utility Expo in Louisville, KY, promoting its quiet operation with performance the company said is identical to its diesel-powered models.
The electric-powered models run on lithium-ion batteries and can be charged using a 220/240-volt electrical socket, the type of outlet many larger home appliances use.
“It’s very easy to charge the machine; it’s nearly as same as on electric vehicles,” noted Lars Arnold, product manager, Volvo CE.
Where the engine would normally be are three packs of batteries. “It’s a 48-volt system, the total capacity is 20 kilowatt hours. That’s enough for the machine to run three hours straight,” Arnold said. “What I have seen in real-time operating of the machine is the machine is running anywhere between four to six hours, because it has a lot of idling time, which is very common for small machines.”
The ECR25’s hydraulic tank is the same as on Volvo’s diesel machines. “All the hydraulic functions on the machine are exactly the same as on a diesel machine,” he stated.
The machine can be charged within one hour, so with a mid-day charge it can deliver a full day’s operation. And for skeptics or for those who are inexperienced with electric equipment, there’s help available.
“We have QR codes on the machine. Any time you have a question, just scan the QR code for small video descriptions on how to start a
machine, how to charge the machine on an AC charging system, or on the DC rapid charging system.”
Volvo offers an app to help track the charge status and which sends a warning if the charge goes below 20%.
“This machine can charge on a 120-volt network, 240-volt network, or an any electric vehicle charge stations available here in North America,” Arnold explained, noting that maintenance is made simple with all main service points located for easy accessibility.
“I want to point out that because this machine doesn’t have a diesel motor, you do not need to care about any engine-related maintenance. No coolant, no engine oil, no filters need to be replaced,” he noted. “This can drastically reduce your maintenance costs, and the time spent maintaining the machine.”
It’s also notably quiet. “I can operate a machine, digging very fast, and it’s very, very quiet, especially for bystanders around the machine,” he said. “We had test operators driving the machine for extended periods and they’re jumping out of the machine when the shift is finished, and they feel astonished about how less fatigue they have because of less vibration and less noise.”
He added, “If people are around me, they can talk to me and I can understand them, I don’t need to turn off the engine.”.