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Aecon pilots fully electric Volvo compact excavator

November 10, 2021 | By Anthony Capkun

“It’s exciting to see the momentum growing for electric construction equipment in North America.”

November 5, 2021 – Aecon Group Inc. reports it has completed a pilot of Volvo Construction Equipment’s new ECR25 electric compact excavator on a fiber optic telecom project in Toronto—and the results sound positive.

“Our teams have been impressed with the ECR25’s power, significant reduction in noise compared to diesel-powered equipment, and elimination of emissions,” said Jean-Louis Servranckx, Aecon president & CEO.

According to Volvo CE, the ECR25 sports the same performance as its diesel counterpart, but with a few advantages.

Thanks to zero emissions, the need for fume extraction systems in applications such as basement groundworks and building demolition is eliminated. And, because it’s quieter, it may allow operators to continue work outside of standard hours.


The unit comes equipped with a 48V, 20 kWh Li-ion battery (with auxiliary 12V battery), delivering 4 hours of run-time (depending on the application). On-board charging at 230 VAC 16A takes about 5 hours; at 400 VAC 32A, off-board charging time for 80% charge takes about 50 minutes.

“We were able to complete most of our jobs—tie in pits, cable pulling, a small 10-20 m trench—on a single charge,” explained Prabh K. Banga, director, Sustainability, Aecon Group. “One time, we did try to push the machine, and used it on a job requiring a larger excavation. The battery ran out in 3-4 hours, and we had to revert to our diesel-powered mini to complete the task.”

The excavator was charged every night using a standard 120V outlet back at the yard, continued Banga. Charging time was approx. 10-12 hours, although Volvo did say this could be “significantly reduced with a fast charger”. While Volvo also manufactures fast chargers, Banga said they are not yet available in Canada.

“Construction equipment is one of the most substantial contributors to greenhouse gas emissions associated with construction projects and, over time, we plan to convert a significant proportion of our fleet to zero-emission equipment like the ECR25,” said Aecon’s Yonni Fushman.

“It’s exciting to see the momentum growing for electric construction equipment in North America,” said Stephen Roy, president, Volvo CE North America. “Working together with our customers and dealers, we can reduce harmful emissions that are entering the atmosphere.”

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