Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven and French president Emmanuel Macron have visited the Volvo Group headquarters in Gothenburg where they saw some of the company’s latest innovations – including the prototype, fully-electric EX2 compact excavator.

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Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven, French president Emmanuel Macron and Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO of the Volvo Group, at the group headquarters in Gothenburg

The government heads signed a strategic partnership between their two countries for innovation, digital transformation and green solutions at the ceremony. They also met with Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO of the Volvo Group, and viewed some of the company’s latest innovations – including the EX2 all-electric compact excavator.

Ahcène Nedjimi, electromobility specialist and EX2 project leader at Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE), was on hand to show the machine to Prime Minister Löfven and President Macron.

“It was a great honour to be able to conduct a live demonstration and present the EX2 to the French and Swedish leaders,” said Ahcène.

“It was very appropriate to highlight this machine because they were discussing increased cooperation and innovation between our two countries, and the EX2 is an example of this collaboration in action. The EX2 stemmed from Volvo CE’s ELEXC research project which was partly financed by the French government, as well as various funding bodies in France.

“The prototype was built in France, and when I told President Macron this he was extremely proud.”

The EX2 is a 100% electric compact excavator prototype that delivers zero emissions, 10 times higher efficiency, 10 times lower noise levels and reduced total cost of ownership, compared to its conventional counterparts. Believed to be the world’s first fully-electric compact excavator prototype, the EX2 is part of a research project and is not commercially available.

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Ahcène Nedjimi (second from left of main group),electromobility specialist and EX2 project leader, shows the prototype to the famous visitors

“Prime Minister Löfven and President Macron were interested in the machine’s performance and how it compared to a conventional compact excavator,” said Ahcène, who is a French citizen.

“We discussed how it could shape the cities of tomorrow and what it could do for society. The French government plans to end sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 as part of its plans to meet the Paris climate accord targets.

“I think with the EX2, President Macron could see that Volvo CE is also working towards sustainable development. The electrification of construction equipment will produce cleaner, quieter and more efficient machines – this represents the future of our industry.”

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