‘Green Power’ Still Distant

20 March 2008

Access equipment owners hoping to use “green” energy technology will likely have to wait a while longer. The access manufacturers contacted by AI said that, while they continually explore the use of such technology, the access equipment market demands a “more conservative approach” of proven functional capability versus other perceived benefits.

Although there are several development programmes underway, Volvo's appears closest to commercialisation for construction equipment. Tony Helsham, chief executive of the Construction Equipment business unit, described at Bauma a hybrid diesel/electric application it is pursuing. “Prototype engines will be on test with customers next year, with limited serial product [wheel loaders] due to begin in 2009,” said Mr Helsham.

Volvo's hybrids integrate diesel and electrical technologies to offer the prospect of fuel savings up to 50%. Savings would likely be less for access platforms, which operate which usually while static. However, Volvo's systems could operate on bio–fuels, according to Mr Helsham.

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