It doesn’t have axles. Each wheel has its own electric motor. The hydraulics are electric driven. Its small diesel engine charges the battery energy storage system. 98% of its parts are new and it’s a fundamentally new design. Volvo CE has been field testing the LX1 hybrid wheel loader since the end of last year at two Waste Management facilities in California.
I was in Novato, CA when Volvo recently announced the results:
“Testing began at the Redwood Landfill and Recycling Center, a green waste composting site in the northern part of the state. Both fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission tests were conducted at the facility and, although the data is still being analyzed, the results so far show an average improvement of 50% in fuel efficiency, equating to a reduction of 35% in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The second test site was the Moreno Valley Transfer Station, a waste transfer site in southern California. Here, the LX1 achieved an average fuel efficiency improvement of around 45%. Both sets of results exceed the 35% fuel efficiency improvement target set for the project.”Add Grading & Excavation Contractor Weekly to your newsletter preferences and keep up with the latest articles on grading and excavation: construction equipment, insurance, materials, safety, software, and trucks and trailers.
They are stunning numbers, to be sure. But what I wanted to know was what the experienced operator would think about the prototype after performing hundreds of hours of work at a landfill and a transfer station. I spoke to the main operator during the test period, Rhonda Lepori, to get her thoughts on using the hybrid wheel loader. Here’s what she had to say…
Volvo Construction Equipment partnered with Waste Management, CALSTART, which did the emissions testing, and the California Energy Commission, which helped to fund the project. Energy Commissioner Janea Scott says, “Demonstrations like these help improve the viability of cleaner, less polluting technologies for near-term market adoption in California’s commercial goods movement, transit, and other sectors.”
The LX1 is still part of a development project and it is not commercially available. But you can expect to see some of its design elements incorporated into other Volvo CE machines.