Netherlands-based contractor BAM says that the company has built and commissioned the world’s first fully electric 10 to 12-tonne road roller.
The electric road roller was created by converting an older road roller model, with the conversion process taking a year and a half. The emission-free road roller was recently put to work on its first project, in the city of Almere, Netherlands.
Thanks to its electric propulsion, the roller emits no carbon dioxide or nitrogen and is much quieter than conventional models.
According to BAM, compared to other heavy equipment, electrification of road rollers is relatively simple as they don’t have to perform repetitive heavy lifts tasks or prolonged excavation tasks. Much like a car, a roller needs energy mostly for driving and steering and a roller does not recquire an extensive driving range.
Compared to the roller’s original diesel engine, the electric conversion saves seven litres of fuel per hour. With the electric road roller BAM reduces its carbon emissions by approximately 236 kilograms per day. On an annual basis, with 180 days of operation, the roller reduces BAM’s CO2 emissions by more than 42,000 kilograms.
A fully charged battery will keep the roller running for eight hours, and recharging takes just three to five hours.
Koob Bovenhuis, manager of the plant division BAM Infra Materieel, said, “This has been an incredible achievement and a fine example of the expertise and can-do mindset of our people. From the initial idea during a strategy session, it’s taken us just one and a half years to make the electric road roller a reality.”
BAM said that, as the demand for sustainable solutions continues to grow, the company considers this electric road roller to be the first step towards developing a fully emission-free paving train.
In addition to electric propulsion, the use of hydrogen could offer possible solutions for the propulsion of heavier equipment.