Volvo CE to launch ‘largest electric excavator’ in Japan; first commercial introduction to Asia

Following the launch of its first electric machines (L25 Electric compact wheel loader and ECR25 Electric compact excavator) in Japan last year, Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) is introducing a third model to the country – the EC230 Electric excavator.

The EC230 Electric will be the largest electric excavator in Japan, said Volvo CE, and will be unveiled at the CSPI-Expo in Tokyo on 22-24 May, ahead of the first units heading to jobsites across the country. It is also the first commercial introduction of the EC230 Electric to Asia, after North America and select European markets. The machine had been piloted on a project in China in 2021.

Having previously concentrated efforts on electrifying its range of smaller equipment, the EC230 Electric marks a notable advance for Volvo CE, being the first time the company has electrified a larger excavator. During the two-month pilot project in China, the machine worked in real-world applications to gather as much feedback as possible on the product and technology from a customer’s perspective.

“There’s significant customer interest in Japan for electric construction machines that produce zero emissions,” said Shoji Isamu, head of market Japan at Volvo CE. “The unveiling of the EC230 Electric at CSPI-Expo and the anticipated market launch is a testament to Volvo CE’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2040.

“Since we first introduced electric machines to the market in 2023, we’ve been encouraged by the positive feedback from our customers. We are confident that the addition of the EC230 Electric will help us further expand our customer base by providing sustainable options that serve the needs of the Japanese market.”

The EC230 Electric will be commercially available in Japan starting May 2024. Initially, five units will be offered on a rental basis through local dealer Yamazaki Machinery. Two are already slated for long-term rental via Nishio Rent All, and another unit is scheduled for delivery to a major contractor for work on various projects. Further discussions on other units are ongoing.

According to Volvo CE, Japan is a perfect launchpad for EC230 Electric as companies continue striving to progress in their sustainability goals. The country is home to the largest number of Asian companies committed to Science Based Targets Initiatives (SBTIs), with levels on par with markets in North America and Europe.

The EC230 Electric leverages the technology of the diesel-powered Volvo EC230 crawler excavator, merging robust power with the added advantages of electrification. Operators of the EC230 Electric will experience reduced noise and vibration, along with heightened hydraulic responsiveness attributable to the electric motor. This contributes to an enhanced working environment inside the cabin or on the jobsite.

With an operating weight of between 23,000 and 26,100 kg and a bucket capacity of 0.48-1.44 cu m, the EC230 has a lifting capacity of 7,560 kg. It can also dig to a depth of 6,730 mm, with a digging reach of 9,930 mm. The machine features a width of 2,990 mm with a tail swing radius of up to 2,850 mm. The EC230 Electric includes a 264-kWh battery capacity, 600-V battery voltage, and an indicative runtime of up to five hours, depending on the application.