Volvo + Skanska piloted a huge electric excavator in LA – here’s how it went

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Global construction firm Skanska piloted the Volvo EC230, the largest electric excavator of its kind, on a big Los Angeles transit project – here’s what happened.

Skanska’s electric excavator pilot in LA, one of four Volvo electric excavator pilot programs in North America, ran for 90 days. Skanska wanted to test an electric excavator of this size on a “megaproject,” so it used it on the Los Angeles Metro’s Purple (D Line) Extension Transit Project.

The Volvo EC230 went to work at the South Yard of the La Brea station, where it replaced a diesel-powered Komatsu PC228 excavator. The EC230 has an operating weight of 23,000-26,100 kg (50,706-57,540 lbs). It features a battery capacity of 264 kWh and a runtime of up to five hours. It takes 1.5 hours to charge it to 80% using a DC fast charger, and 10-12 hours to charge it with the standard AC charger that comes with the excavator.

Skanska said today that it used the EC230 to load trucks of export construction material from a stockpile. The company says it successfully performed its duties and kept the pace of work on schedule.

Initial findings indicate that Volvo’s electric excavator reduced carbon per hour by 66% (34 kilograms) and saved an estimated 74% – $15.15 – in cost per hour.

Operators reported back that the machine was easy to use, had great capacity, and generated much less vibration and noise than a diesel-powered version. That creates a much better working environment for the operator and less construction noise for the community.

Mason Ford, director of sustainability and equipment services for Skanska USA Civil, said that “the successful completion of this pilot program represents a significant stride forward for the entire [construction] industry.”

Skanska aims to achieve 70% carbon reduction by 2030 across its global operations and entire value chain.

Read more: This electric excavator was airlifted to rebuild James Bond’s cable car in the Swiss Alps


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