SE Asia’s first fully-electric Volvo construction machines arrive in Singapore

The first fully-electric construction machines from Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) have arrived in Singapore and were formally launched for the Southeast Asian market at a gala event in Sentosa last Wednesday (7 Jun). There are three models, including the ECR25 Electric compact excavator, L25 Electric compact wheel loader and EC55 Electric excavator. All of them are battery-powered.

“Our company wants to reach net-zero emissions by 2040, and as part of that and our commitment to Science Based Targets, we want to reduce emissions from our product line by 30% by 2030, as well as reducing emissions from our own operations by 50% in the same timeframe,” said Tomas Kuta, president of Asia region at Volvo CE.

“Singapore is a natural market for electric construction machines with a strong focus on sustainability, efficiency and safety in its construction industry. We are launching our first electric machines in Southeast Asia, and we believe it will act as a launchpad for further sales, both in Singapore and the wider regional market.”

Volvo CE noted that in Singapore, the government has set ambitious targets to enable sustainability across the building and construction value chain through its Singapore Green Building Masterplan (SGBMP). This includes introducing mandatory sustainable construction practices. Using electric machines on construction projects will go some way towards helping contractors meet their sustainability objectives.

Volvo CE aims to have 35% of the machines it sells powered by electromobility by 2030. According to the company, it already provides the widest range of electrically-powered construction machinery for the industry today.

AM Muralidharan, head of productivity & retail development for Asia at Volvo CE, said, “Using Volvo CE electric machines offers all kinds of advantages to owners. Of course, it will boost the sustainability of their own operations, but it’s also about creating a nicer environment for the operator and others on site. The lack of engine noise and fumes removes a lot of the distraction that can come from working around equipment and allows much better focus on the job at hand. It’s also kinder to the local community.”

Over 100 guests gathered at the launch event, including leaders from Singapore’s major building and construction companies, Volvo CE dealers from across the Southeast Asia region, Volvo CE leadership from Asia, and Jenny Egermark, Chargé d’ Affaires a.i. at the Embassy of Sweden in Singapore.

“I am delighted to see Volvo’s innovative Swedish construction machines launching in Singapore. They are excellent additions to Singapore’s robust construction industry. Both Sweden and Singapore have ambitious goals towards sustainability and reducing carbon emissions, and the launch of Volvo’s first electric construction machines brings us one step closer to achieving these common goals,” said Ms Egermark.

New electric models for construction sites

Electric construction machines have the power to change the way construction sites and material handling industries are run, explained Volvo CE. They offer the same productivity benefits as their diesel equivalents but with less noise, fewer vibrations and no exhaust fumes. They can help industries meet sustainability requirements or regulations. It also allows companies to use the machines in new locations, such as indoors, or in other sensitive environments.

The ECR25 Electric compact excavator is a 2.6-2.8 t capacity machine with a 22.3 kN breakout force. It is equipped with an on-board charger for general charging, an external quick charger (optional for indoor/outdoor specifications), and a 20 kWh battery array, allowing for three to four hours of work per charge.

The ECR25 Electric has an excavation bucket (0.074 cu m) with a quick coupler, a standard arm, spare piping and an ROPS standard canopy. There is very little noise, resulting in a very low environmental impact on the operator, surrounding workers and neighbours. Operator comfort is further improved because there are no fumes from the electric operating system.

Unlike a diesel excavator, the ECR25 Electric consumes almost no energy while idling thanks to an inbuilt stop/start system, so it only consumes energy during the minutes it works. The machine has a slightly higher operating weight than its diesel equivalent, but also delivers more continuous motor power.

The L25 Electric compact wheel loader features a 2.1 t payload, a maximum speed of 20 kph, excellent lifting height and 100% parallel movements. The machine comes with a 40 kWh battery pack and is expected to perform six to eight hours of work per charge. Again, operator comfort is enhanced by near-silent operation, and there is an automatic park brake with hill-hold functionality and a range of customisable work modes.

Like the ECR25 Electric, the L25 Electric wheel loader has a slightly higher operating weight than its diesel equivalent, but then offers a higher static tipping load too. At present, two units of the L25 Electric are undergoing testing at a Kim Hock Corporation facility in Singapore.

The EC55 Electric excavator is a 5.5 t electric machine built at the Volvo CE facility in China, which is currently the world’s largest market for e-mobility equipment. The EC55 Electric is based on its diesel-powered counterpart, the EC55D, but delivers even better performance and controllability, as well as quiet operations and zero emissions. Power comes from two lithium battery packs of 400 V that work continuously for four to six hours per charge.

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