Volvo CE and Skanska are testing the viability of its Electric Site concept at Skanska’s Vikan Kross quarry, near Gothenburg, Sweden. The system, which incorporates electric and autonomous Volvo machines, should deliver an anticipated up to 95% reduction in carbon emissions and up to 25% reduction in total cost of operations.
Known as Electric Site, the project is taking place over a 10-week period.
“This is the first time that anything like this has been attempted in the quarrying industry and, if successful, Electric Site could serve as a blueprint for transforming the efficiency, safety and environmental impact of quarries around the world,” said Gunnar Hagman, CEO of Skanska Sweden.
Three separate vehicles will marshal, transport and load material around the quarry site between the primary and secondary crushers.
Piles of material on the site will be organised by the LX1 Volvo prototype electric hybrid wheel loader. It features electric drive motors mounted at the wheels, electric driven hydraulics, a battery energy storage system, and a significantly reduced diesel engine. During tests earlier in the year when the LX1 was deployed at waste management facilities in California, the vehicle clocked up fuel efficiency improvements of around 50 per cent compared to a conventional loader.
Quarry material will be transferred into the site’s primary crusher by a Volvo EX1, a 70-ton dual-powered, cable-connected excavator prototype. Based on Volvo’s EC750 model, the excavator will be plugged into mains power but will also have diesel capability to operate wire-free if required.
A fleet of HX2 autonomous and fully electric load carriers will ferry material between the quarry’s primary and secondary crushers. Unveiled last year, the HX2 builds on the capabilities of the HX1, Volvo’ first autonomous EV loader. The eight HX2s will replace three rigid haulers that had previously been operating on the site.
“It is exciting to finally see how the Volvo prototype machines work together along with the charging systems,” said Joakim Käpynen, production manager for Skanska’s Vikan Kross quarry. “Electric Site proves that with cooperation and transparency throughout the entire value chain, you can really make a difference.”