One of the largest construction services companies in the world is testing one of the largest battery-electric machines in the world. Turner Construction Company is conducting a pilot of the 23-ton EC230 Electric excavator from Volvo Construction Equipment on a project in the heart of Silicon Valley. The EC230 Electric is the first medium-size in-house-designed electric excavator in the industry.
“Turner is a great organization for us to partner with to test the capabilities and benefits of a zero-emission machine that is a major advancement in bringing sustainability solutions to our industry,” said Scott Young, acting president of Region North America, Volvo CE. “Both of our companies are industry leaders pushing innovation to build a cleaner world.”
Said Evan Walker, Turner Construction Company project executive: “We’re really excited to provide operator feedback to equipment manufacturers and help support the low-emission equipment market. This is definitely in alignment with our company values to create a healthy, prosperous and sustainable future for people and the planet.”
The Volvo EC230 Electric excavator is being used by Turner Construction Company on a light manufacturing reconfiguration project for Applied Materials in the Silicon Valley region of Northern California. The excavator will play a key role in the placement of deep utilities, backfilling, building pad excavation, compaction and material movement on site. The project will be completed by October 2024.
Turner Sustainability Manager Emi LaFountain said, “We are dedicated to improving the environmental performance and resilience of our projects, our operations and our business. This pilot is part of our overall effort to reduce the carbon emissions of our operations. Electrifying as much equipment as possible will yield a lower-carbon, quieter, healthier and ultimately safer jobsite.”
The challenge of having sufficient power delivered on demand and effectively to the equipment can be a barrier to using electric machines on construction jobsites. As part of the EC230 Electric excavator pilot, Sunbelt Rentals is providing a mobile, off-grid energy storage solution.
“A battery energy storage system (BESS) is ideal because the power can be quickly delivered to the machine with ease in remote locations without requiring the machine to move for charging,” said Brent Coffey, director, product line management for Sunbelt Rentals.
A 600kWh BESS will power a mobile fast charger that is connected to the EC230 Electric. In this scenario, the excavator can be recharged over a lunch break to provide sufficient power for a full day’s work. The BESS is an emission-free and noise-free power solution, making it ideal for portable site charging, supplementing combustion generators, and standby power for jobsites.
The Turner Construction Company project is one of several pilots Volvo CE has scheduled for the EC230 Electric excavator in North America. Another is underway with WM in waste applications at a waste transfer facility on the East Coast.
The EC230 Electric has launched in Europe and China and is expected to be available in North America in 2024. It will join what is currently the construction industry’s largest lineup of commercially available battery-electric heavy equipment: three compact excavator models, two compact wheel loader models and an asphalt compactor.
Those six models and the EC230 Electric excavator have been shown on real-world jobsites to offer the same performance as their diesel equivalents but with zero exhaust emissions, less noise and reduced maintenance costs due to the lack of an internal combustion engine.
To learn more about Volvo CE sustainability efforts, get tips about charging and hear what electric machine owners have to say, visit the Volvo CE electric resource center.