A Californian developer is testing the electric excavator and wheel loader from Volvo Construction Equipment and examining whether its promise of environmental sustainability can hold up on off-grid construction sites.
Baltic Sands, Yucca Valley, uses the Volvo ECR25 Electric Compact Excavator and L25 Electric Loader for a variety of tasks on remote site development projects in Southern California.
Baltic received a US $ 2 million grant from the South Coast Air Quality Management District designed to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission technologies for off-road equipment. The grant and electric machines worked in tandem with Baltics' drive to develop environmentally conscious residential projects.
The ECR25-shaped building pads made underground improvements and dug lines for utility and irrigation systems. The L25 reshaped larger areas, added to the final classification and relocated the soil supplies for further processing.
The pilot project “allowed us to pursue the ideal of the ecological environment through the introduction of new technologies,” says Jacques Marais, managing director of the company.
The machines were powered by a number of solar panels installed for the housing estate throughout the project. The ECR25 and L25 were powered overnight and during lunch.
Volvo CE“We work in very soft soil conditions,” says Marias. Even under these harsh conditions, we were able to use the electrical machines for a variety of tasks every day. “
According to Marais, the Baltic operators were less tired due to the greatly reduced noise and vibration of the machine. Operators were also able to get power instantly and speak to other workers on the job site in a normal tone of voice.
“With these electrical machines, noise is not an issue – you can talk to an operator as if he or she were standing next to you,” said Aaron Anderson of Volvo Construction Equipment & Services dealer in Corona, California. “Maintenance wasn't really a factor either.”
To further simplify charging, Baltic plans to test the two devices with a battery. The company is also looking into how electric machines can be integrated into its diesel-powered fleet.
“This is where ideology meets reality,” says Marais. “I am aware of this and hope that, as early adopters of electromobility, we will do everything right. I'm pretty excited to get this under control and see what the future holds for our company. “