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