Volvo’s Plans for Electric Powertrain Construction Equipment

As you may know, Caterpillar, Hyundai/Cummins, and JCB are competing to see who can be first to develop a viable battery-operated electric powertrain for construction equipment. Now, Volvo has thrown its hat into the ring. But, the difference between Volvo and its competitors is that Volvo plans to introduce as many as 10 electric models of equipment in place of its current diesel-powered versions on the market. Once the electric models are available, Volvo plans to stop offering the diesel models.

Volvo’s electrified construction equipment includes Volvo’s smallest excavators (Models EC15 to EC27) and its smallest compact wheel loaders (L20 to L28). The company says the reasons for committing to an electric future for this equipment are favorable customer reaction, robust electric technology for this size of the equipment and heightened regulatory environments.

The anticipated start date for Volvo’s rollout of its electric excavators and wheel loaders is mid-2020 and the rollout will be done one market at a time. Currently, Volvo has no plans to move to electric powertrains on its larger construction equipment. Volvo says, “Diesel remains the most appropriate power source for these larger machines.”

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