Volvo’s pro­to­type hy­brid diesel elec­tric wheel loader halves fuel use in tests

Earthmovers & Excavators - - News -

Volvo Con­struc­tion Equip­ment’s pro­to­type LX1 diesel-elec­tric hy­brid wheel loader is ca­pa­ble of re­duc­ing fuel con­sump­tion by around 50 per cent, ac­cord­ing to US field test re­sults pre­sented by the com­pany.

The re­sults were pre­sented at an event in Cal­i­for­nia with field-test­ing com­pany Waste Man­age­ment, en­vi­ron­men­tal en­gi­neers Cal­start (who tested the loader’s emis­sions), and the Cal­i­for­nia En­ergy Com­mis­sion (who pro­vided fund­ing for the project).

The LX1 pro­to­type uses elec­tric drive mo­tors mounted at the wheels, elec­tri­cally driven hy­draulics, a bat­tery en­ergy stor­age sys­tem and a sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced diesel en­gine.

As well as im­proved fuel ef­fi­ciency and re­duced emis­sions, the LX1 pro­duces sig­nif­i­cantly less noise than con­ven­tional ma­chines, Volvo says.

Ini­tial test­ing be­gan at one of Waste Man­age­ment’s green waste com­post­ing sites, where fuel ef­fi­ciency and green­house gas emis­sion tests were car­ried out.

Volvo says that al­though the data is still be­ing an­a­lysed, re­sults so far show an av­er­age im­prove­ment of 50 per cent in fuel ef­fi­ciency, which equates to a 35 per cent re­duc­tion in fuel con­sump­tion and emis­sions.

Re­sults from a sec­ond test round at a Waste Man­age­ment trans­fer site showed an av­er­age im­prove­ment in fuel ef­fi­ciency of around 45 per cent. Both sets ex­ceeded the 35 per cent tar­get.

“We are pleased with the re­sults from the field test­ing,” Volvo CE elec­tro­mo­bil­ity di­rec­tor Scott Young says. “Al­though we’d al­ready seen the LX1 reach up to a 50 per cent im­prove­ment in fuel ef­fi­ciency in our in­ter­nal tests, every ap­pli­ca­tion and op­er­a­tor is dif­fer­ent.

“Be­cause of this, we were aim­ing for a 35 per cent im­prove­ment in fuel ef­fi­ciency in this project,” Young adds. “But we are happy to say that we’ve sig­nif­i­cantly ex­ceeded this fig­ure and achieved sim­i­lar re­sults to those recorded at our test site in Swe­den.”

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