Volvo hybrid wheel loader halves fuel use in tests

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Volvo LX1 diesel electric hybrid wheel loader The Volvo LX1 prototype working a trash pile Volvo LX1 diesel electric hybrid wheel loader

Volvo Construction Equipment’s prototype LX1 diesel-electric hybrid wheel loader is capable of reducing fuel consumption by around 50 percent, according to US field test results presented by the company.

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The results were presented at a press event in California with company Waste Management (who carried out the field testing), environmental engineers Calstart (who tested the loader’s emissions) and the California Energy Commission (who provided funding for the project).

The LX1 prototype uses a driveline consisting of electric drive motors mounted at the wheels, electrically driven hydraulics, a battery energy storage system and a significantly reduced diesel engine.

As well as improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, the LX1 produces significantly less noise than conventional machines, Volvo says.

Initial testing began at one of Waste Management’s green waste composting sites, where fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission tests were carried out.

Volvo says that although the data is still being analysed, results so far show an average improvement of 50 percent in fuel efficiency, which equates to a 35 percent reduction in fuel consumption and emissions.

The second round of testing took place at a Waste Management transfer site. Results from this showed an average improvement in fuel efficiency of around 45 percent. Both sets of results exceeded the 35 percent target set for the project.

"We are pleased with the results from the field testing," Volvo CE electromobility director Scott Young says.

"Although we’d already seen the LX1 reach up to a 50 percent improvement in fuel efficiency in our internal tests, every application and operator is different.

"Because of this, we were aiming for a 35 percent improvement in fuel efficiency in this project," Young adds. "But we are happy to say that we’ve significantly exceeded this figure and achieved similar results to those recorded at our test site in Sweden."


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