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Volvo CE highlights new portable power units, electric excavator pilot results at ACT Expo

An operator walks to an electric excavator
A Volvo CE EC230 Electric excavator Volvo CE

Volvo Construction Equipment, Volvo Penta, and two manufacturers of charging solutions launched two new products in the North American market at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Las Vegas.

Volvo CE unveiled two Volvo-branded mobile charging units called the PU750 and the PU130. The PU750 is ideal for fast-charging larger equipment onsite without needing a converter, while the PU130 is a portable Level 2 charger for compact machines.

"We all have a common goal to revolutionize the landscape of sustainable technology within the heavy equipment sector," said Dr. Ray Gallant, Vice President of sustainability and productivity services at Volvo CE. "Collaborating on these products allows us to make significant steps forward in the adoptability of electric machines."

The PU750

Developed and built by Utility Innovation Group (UIG) in cooperation with Volvo CE and Volvo Penta, the PU750 utilizes the Volvo Group CAST (common architecture, shared technology) strategy. The partnership applies Volvo Penta's battery sub-system to support charging around the world and allows mid-size electric machines to charge on a variety of job sites thanks to its adaptability to multiple infrastructure setups and easy transport.

"It's not always clear what power availability you will have for charging on a job site, but this solution has been strategically developed to put our microgrid integration and GridSure expertise to work in order to dynamically adapt to all utility and on-site generation conditions," said Derek Tugwell, president of UIG. "We're really excited about how this solution will drive adoption of electrified off-road equipment and help drive decarbonization."

The first-generation PU750 has enough energy to support three to four mid-size machines like the Volvo EC230 Electric excavator through twin CCS1 connections before the 792 kWh Volvo-based batteries need to be recharged. When used with the grid-interactive UIG power system, the PU750 can maximize available AC power and integrate on-site distributed energy assets to enable vehicle charging operations. Multiple assets can be tracked, managed, and visualized within the GridSure platform, making vehicle and charging power management clear. The PU750 also integrates solar panels to aid in controls and auxiliary system support when it is away from the grid.

"We teamed up with UIG last year because of their expertise in integrating multiple assets to maximize on- and off-grid charging possibilities," said Darren Tasker, vice president of industrial at Volvo Penta North America. "Weaving our Volvo CE teammates into the partnership was always the plan, and it's exciting to see what has come of this relationship so quickly."

Volvo PU750 quick specs

  • DC fast vehicle charging: 500 kW
  • Storage capacity: 793 kWh
  • AC recharging: 480 kW
  • AC voltage support: 400V - 38kV
  • AC frequency: 50 to 60 Hz
  • CCS1 or CCS2 charging connectors
  • GridSure microgrid control, management and data enablement

The PU130

Based on Portable Electric's 48-volt direct current fast charging (DCFC) technology, the PU130 can charge equipment in less than an hour with 130 kWh of energy storage capacity and a 20 kW charge rate. In addition to charging equipment, the PU130 can simultaneously provide 40 kW of site power.

The PU130 will be available through the North American Volvo dealer network later this year.

Volvo PU130 quick specs

  • AC output: 40 kW
  • Low voltage DC fast charging: 20 kW
  • Storage capacity: 130 kWh
  • Neuron OS enabled wireless monitoring platform for real-time data, analytics and GPS

Volvo at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo

The ACT Expo is focused on the on-road segment, so Volvo Trucks and Volvo Penta have participated for years. But lately, Volvo Construction Equipment has grown its presence alongside its Volvo Group colleagues to demonstrate innovations in off-road transformation as well.

At last year's ACT Expo, Volvo CE revealed it was bringing its EC230 Electric excavator to North America for pilot testing. At this year's show in Las Vegas, the Volvo CE team shared results from those pilot projects, revealed that the EC230 Electric is now commercially available in North America, and introduced two new charging units.

"It's an exciting time in the off-road segment as this transformation starts to gain traction," said Dr. Ray Gallant. "Collaborating with our on-road-focused colleagues has helped us accelerate the transition in thoughtful and significant ways."

The 23-ton EC230 Electric excavator represents a step up in size for electric heavy equipment, with most machines on the market today being compact models. Results from the pilot tests include:

  • Reduced emissions and production costs: Skanska used the EC230 Electric to load trucks of export material from an underground tunnel as part of a transit line renovation in Los Angeles. The machine reduced hourly carbon emissions by 66 percent and hourly costs by 74 percent over the 90-day test.

"The cost savings are just as important because if these solutions don't make financial sense in addition to the emissions reduction, adoption will lag," Gallant said.

In another 90-day pilot in California, this time collaborating with Sunbelt Rentals, the electric excavator delivered an 80 percent carbon reduction rate and 83 percent cost savings in comparison to its diesel equivalent.

"This project demonstrated that even though production of the machine has a higher carbon footprint in comparison to its diesel equivalent, the fuel savings and carbon reduction offset that in just over 800 hours of use," said Gallant.

  • Strong performance and uptime: In Florida, Coastal Waste & Recycling is using the EC230 Electric to process up to 100 tons of construction and demolition debris and green waste each hour. They use the machine for a partial shift, give it a quick charge and then use it on another shift, allowing them to get eight hours of work from the machine each day. Operators said it performs just as well as its diesel equivalent.
  • The possibility of entirely fossil-free fleets and job sites: On a job site in Stockholm City, Sweden, the EC230 Electric contributed to the reduction of 1,808 tons of carbon emissions, which is approximately what 180 Swedish people produce in one year. Electric equipment accounted for 23 percent of the site's carbon reduction while 46 percent was made possible by the use of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO100) for fuel and the rest was accomplished by reducing transport and reusing materials.

At Emterra Group in Vancouver, BC, the electric excavator works as a support machine, consolidating waste in transfer stations that wheel loaders then load into trucks to haul away. The team's hope is to transition to more electric machines that can handle the tough work of maximizing payloads and cycle times while reducing or eliminating emissions. Their general manager says the potential for replacing an entire fleet for carbon neutrality is exciting.

Company info

304 Volvo Way
Shippensburg, PA
US, 17257


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