Sustainability for Volvo CE

The term EV is associated primarily with cars. However, there is a much wider reach than that. Electric cars have seen dramatic advancement and practicality demonstrated over the last decade- accelerating even more so now. The world of construction has not quite seen the same development and has its own set of e-hurdles to overcome. Sustainability for Volvo CE is a major task.

What is the aim for Volvo CE?

Volvo Construction Equipment are the heavy commercial vehicle arm of the Volvo group, and they aim to be net-zero with carbon emissions by 2040. That may seem like a delay, but they have got some work to do as ALL of their current vehicles run on diesel. From buses, trucks, diggers, enormous tippers and smaller excavators- they all need a sustainable propulsion system.

Image: Volvo CE make vehicles from excavators to enormous dumper trucks (picture courtesy of Volvo CE)

The variety of vehicle means the power each of them need will vary too. Mats Bredborg, Head of Digital Infrastructure, Volvo CE, said “We have vehicles at the lower end of the scale with 15hp and at the other end of the scale with 1000hp- some of which need to run continuously for 24 hours in shifts.”

What are Volvo CE doing now?

Volvo CE have already started bringing out small electric excavators such as the ECR25 which has a claimed runtime of four hours and a charge up to 80% in 50 minutes. As these will be travelling at low speeds, they are ideal for an electric battery and motor system. Not only that but it means construction sites will begin to have less and less rattly diesel engines- that will be better for the hearing of the workers but also more pleasant for residents.

Image: Volvo CE featured at the London EV Show in December 2021 as well as delivering an address (picture courtesy of London EV Show)

Volvo CE partnerships

Volve CE have made some partnerships with other large companies to make sure their electrification effort can be efficient and swift- as well as aiding other companies in their effort too. The commercial vehicle arm of Daimler AG has teamed up with Volvo CE to improve the rate at which they work on hydrogen fuel cell technology in a partnership they are calling ‘Cellcentric’. This fuel-cell technology will be aimed at their larger vehicles with longer runtimes so that they do no need lengthy charges.

Image: In many industries, Volvo CE’s equipment has to run for 24 hours without a break with different drivers at the helm in shifts (picture courtesy of Volvo CE)

Another partnership they have struck up is with a less likely company. Volvo CE has been collaborating with LEGO. Mats Bredborg said, “LEGO work with no boundaries and just build on whatever they have at the moment, and it makes sense to use their creativity in the development of our vehicles.”

It isn’t all about power…

The propulsion of the vehicles is only half of what Volvo CE are doing to get to net-zero. All of their vehicles are made from steel and obviously the process of making steel is a carbon heavy process. To make sure it is as environmentally friendly as possible when they do make new vehicles from steel – they have recycled old steel vehicles. In partnership with Swedish steel company, SSAB, Volvo CE have made the first ever fossil-free steel vehicle. The innovation did not stop there though as the load carrier (mainly for the quarrying and mining industry) will be autonomous too- which also helps Volvo CE’s aim to tackle the number of injuries in the workplace.

Image: Volvo CE’s fossil-free steel vehicle is predominantly used in the mining industry (picture courtesy of Volvo CE)

The main thing with these ventures will be the collaboration, as the change from all-diesel to all-electric will not be a simple process but a hugely beneficial one to the planet and also to the reduction in localised pollution these vehicles create in large quantities. NOx fumes are the ones associated with being most harmful to our respiratory systems and the ones that are cutting short tens of thousands of lives in the UK. Commercial vehicles are major culprits in producing these fumes, so to make the switch would make an enormous difference to the people working around them as well as to the general public.

What can we do to help?

If you are thinking of making the switch from the fuel pump to the charging plug, then tall to us at Van MonkEV and we can discuss the correct solution for you with the range of electric cars and vans available. If you are worried about the maintenance when you take on an EV, then we can help there too. At VM Vehicle Maintenance, we can manage the servicing and maintenance of your vehicle with our service contracts to make sure you remain on the road safely and for as long as possible.

As always, thanks for reading and we hope to speak to you soon!

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