Volvo is introducing more electric solutions

are probably the most difficult products to replace the diesel engine as a power source, as considerable energy content and power is needed. Lithium ion batteries typically have 1% the energy content of diesel fuel per kilogramme. Tis means that you need to increase the efficiency of the driveline and hydraulics to maximise the operating range. “Some customers are also considering

traveling down a decline with a fully loaded truck or loader to take advantage of driveline regeneration where the electric motors use the kinetic energy from slowing the vehicle to charge the batteries. Te vehicle then trams up the decline empty. Tis type of cycle minimises net energy consumption by extending the operating range of the battery.”

JCB’S ELECTRIC FIRST Officially launched at February’s Executive Hire Show, the 19C-1E is JCB’s first electric excavator. Equipped with three lithium ion cells with a 312Ah (15kWh) storage capacity, a standard load-sensing hydraulic system and battery management system aim to wring the most work out of it between charges, which take from five to eight hours. Alan Tolley, JCB Group Director of

Engines, observes, “Electric machines do require a recharge period, so this has to be

16 Yannmar’s gas engine

factored into the work pattern. However this is not usually a problem for the mini excavator category, but could be for other machine types that are used more in a continuous process mode.” Looking forward, Tolley still feels diesel will remain crucial for the industry: “Electric will have a part to play but clean diesel technology will continue to power the vast majority of machines. When you compare electric to diesel, the latest Stage V JCB diesel engines have almost eradicated harmful emissions, with NOx down 97% and soot particulates down by 98% compared to 20 years ago. We have

also reduced CO2 emissions by almost

half by improving machine and engine efficiency. So with diesel, we are firmly on the road to zero.” Volvo has electric ambitions too, with a brace of launches planned for 2020: a compact wheel loader and excavator. Alongside Telia and Ericsson, the company is also embarking on a research project in Eskilstuna, Sweden to establish the viability of using 5G to control autonomous vehicles. As well as a conventional wheel loader, further testing of the HX2 concept electric load carrier will take place. Tis follows on from the successful 10 week Electric Site project last year alongside Skanska at the Vikan Kross quarry, near Gothenburg, where 8 HX2s followed a GPS path transporting material from a primary mobile crusher up to a secondary static crusher. Te aim of the project was to break

down each stage of mining transport and electrify it. Overall there was a 98% reduction in carbon emissions with a 70% reduction in energy cost. So although diesel isn’t done yet, it’s clear that there are alternatives out there and with ongoing improvements in battery management and solid state technology potentially on the horizon increasing interest in electric mining vehicles seems inevitable.

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