Volvo CE brings mobile charging to the construction job site

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Volvo CE and Penta revealed two new mobile charging solutions for North American construction fleets at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Las Vegas.

Volvo CE unveiled two Volvo-branded mobile charging units at a press conference held last night, calling them the next logical step towards full job site electrification.

“We all have a common goal to revolutionize the landscape of sustainable technology within the heavy equipment sector,” said Dr. Ray Gallant, Vice President — 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 first mobile charger, PU750, is a mobile DC fast charging solution developed to be an ideal solution for fast-charging larger equipment onsite without the need for a converter. The portable power unit (hence, “PU”) packs 750 usable kWh into a towable chassis that can fully charge the batteries in a machine like the Volvo EC230 Electric excavator from 0-100% three times before needing to be recharged itself.

Volvo PU quick specs

Volvo CE mobile charger quick specs; via Volvo CE.

When the PU750 does need charging, it can be managed using the grid interactive UIG power system. That enables the battery-hauling rig to maximize available AC power while tracking multiple assets simultaneously, all managed and visualized within the GridSure platform to make vehicle and charging power management clear to the fleet manager.

“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 Industrial, 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 PU130 mobile AC charger

Volvo mobile AC charging solution; via Volvo CE.

On the AC side of the equation, the new Volvo PU130 is a portable Level 2 charger, designed for more compact machines (like the ECR25 Electric we first covered last April).

Volvo co-developed the PU130 with Portable Electric, and used its proprietary 48-volt technology, the PU130 provides the ability to charge equipment in less than an hour with 130 kWh of energy storage capacity and a 20 kW charge rate, while simultaneously providing up to 40 kW of onsite power to run portable offices or other buildings.

Volvo says the mobile chargers are further proof of the OEM’s commitment to providing the best solutions possible to make carbon reduction in the construction industry a reality. “Battery electric equipment is not feasible for every job site or application, but its use cases continue to grow,” said Dr. Gallant. “As long as owners and operators are making an effort to reduce emissions in whatever way they can, that is forward progress.”

Electrek’s Take

Volvo’s press events at ACT Expo always bring something exciting and, more importantly, useful to the table – and these mobile chargers are no exception.

As fleets are forced to electrify through a combination of legislation, environmental requirements, noise regulations, customer ESG goals, and volatile fuel costs, the need to get usable power to where work is being done becomes a critical variable for fleets to solve for. Solutions like this will help some fleets electrify sooner than later, and that’s why we’re all here.

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