Volvo showcases electric excavator, begins testing ahead of commercial sales next year


Volvo Construction Equipment is kicking off a series of testing programs in North America with its mid-size EC230 Electric excavator and partner WM (formerly known as Waste Management). The 23-ton machine is designed to run the same operations as a diesel equivalent and represents a major shift in zero-emissions construction equipment.

The Volvo EC230 Electric is a zero-emissions excavator that made its public debut at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG this past March. The general-purpose construction machine was designed for extraction, earthmoving, and grading in the building segment, but it’s also a good fit for trash and scrap handling in the recycling and waste segments.

Volvo CE states that the EC230 Electric can deliver the same digging forces and lifting capacities as its diesel equivalent in the company’s lineup while supporting the same attachments and services. The obvious difference is that it is powered entirely by batteries, enabling zero direct emissions, quieter operation, reduced maintenance, and a lower total cost of ownership for customers.

This afternoon, Volvo CE has the new electric excavator on public display at two separate trade shows – the Waste Expo in Louisiana and the ACT Expo in Southern California. During these events, Volvo CE announced a new pilot program to test the excavators in real-world situations throughout North America.

electric excavator
Martin Mattsson, Key Accounts Director at Volvo CE (left), hands over the EC230 Electric keys to Harold Romberg, Director of Heavy Equipment for WM, at Waste Expo / Credit: Volvo CE

Volvo’s electric excavator being piloted by a Fortune 500 Co.

Volvo Construction Equipment shared that it has found a partner in WM, which will be the first to test out its electric excavator in North America through a pilot program at its facility on the East Coast. WM says it will put the EC230 Electric through the same waste management applications as its diesel counterparts, then track that data and share feedback with Volvo CE.

Volvo states this initial pilot program with WM kicks off a series of customer testing projects to follow on the North American power grid. Volvo North America president Stephen Roy elaborated:

This is the first pilot in North America, but the EC230 Electric excavator has been thoroughly tested by customers overseas, and in each case, it has offered the same performance as its diesel equivalent with the added benefit of no direct emissions. We’re excited to work with WM on a project that aligns with both of our organizations’ values of being good environmental stewards.

Following the newly announced pilot programs, Volvo CE is aiming to make the mid-size electric excavator commercially available by 2024. When that does happen, the EC230 Electric will join an all-electric Volvo lineup that already consists of six different machines. Roy again spoke:

Electric construction equipment thus far has mostly been compact models, but to make the kind of progress we want toward a more sustainable future, larger machines need to be part of the equation. Volvo CE is proud to be leading the industry into that future along with sustainability driven companies like WM.

The EC230 Electric excavator is on display at both the Waste and ACT Expos this week. You can also watch it in action from Sweden in the video below: