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Volvo Invests in Hybrid Forestry Machinery Company

The El-forest hybrid forwarder.

Volvo Technology Transfer AB is a new part-owner in El-forest AB, based in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, and is thereby investing in the development of energy efficient and environmentally sound forestry machinery. The investment is part of the Volvo Group’s striving to strengthen its role as a leading supplier to the forestry industry.

The El-forest forwarder is the world’s first forestry machine that uses hybrid-electric technology. The hybrid forwarder uses a series hybrid architecture, with the genset powered by a small diesel. The forwarder is moved by 23 kW traction motors in each wheel. Fuel consumption can be cut by up to 50% compared to conventional forwarders.

The El-forest machine is smaller (9.5 tonnes) than its conventional counterparts (14 tonnes), but has the same load capacity (12 tonnes).

Due to its lighter weight, although still able to handle the same load as a conventional forwarder of a comparable size, it facilitates more environmentally sound log hauling.

In addition, it has significantly less impact on the external environment through a patented innovative frame construction that enables all wheels, which are individually electrically powered, to follow the same wheel-track with adapted speed. It has attracted major attention from the large forestry machine customers in the Nordic countries as well as from customers in many of the large forest countries worldwide, according to Volvo.

Volvo Technology Transfer’s investment in El-forest will accelerate the introduction of the forestry machine and will enable customers to benefit faster from the economical and environmental benefits that the El-forest forwarder promises. The first machine delivery will be to state-owned Sveaskog—Sweden’s largest forest owner—during 2008.

Volvo Technology Transfer AB is part of AB Volvo and focuses on developing and supporting new business relevant to the Volvo Group. Part of the effort is to invest in companies and projects that are technically and commercially attractive.



Yeah... Green deforestation equipment. The end cannot be avoided.


This system is what we need to be doing in automobiles.

A small diesel genset charging a Li-po battery, driving three or four in-wheel motors.


While deforestation is a serious global concern, most of the customers of this piece of equipment will be organizations that practice sustainable (or at least well managed) forestry.


This could be a step forward in improving the energy return of the next generation of biofuels. Legislation and consumer resistance may force a change away from feedstocks such as corn, tallow and palm oil towards cellulosic material. Outside the tropics trees may also be more resilient to climate change and fertiliser shortages than conventional crops.


The U.S. Government put out a forest thinning contract to take the dead trees out and reduce fire danger. There were no takers. If you could automate the process and sell the wood to biomass to fuel companies, it might be profitable and reduce fire danger as well.


All stop - start machines like this one should go hybrid - diesel for outdoor use, CNG or full BEV for indoor use.

It all comes down to cost and the amount of fuel the end up using.

All delivery vans, bin trucks, post office vans etc.


"most of the customers of this piece of equipment will be organizations that practice sustainable (or at least well managed) forestry."

Read this board - there are no such organizations. Organizations are the puppet fronts for demon capitalists ushering in the apocalypse. The END is near.

Michael McMillan

How do you get in wheel out of that. The motors are not in wheel, what you see in the wheel is the speed reducer. The motor is probably at the other end of the CV joint where it is less likely to be damaged.


Sulleny, please avoid silly comments. In most European countries like France forest is expanding, not shrinking, and it needs forestry to avoid catching fire. Never heard about Greece last summer ?

Stan Peterson

Deforestation is a eco threat that does not exist in most any advanced country. Only third world cesspools, and Marxist heavens, suffer from de-forestation.

Everywhere else, reforestation, mostly natural, but also with some anthropogenic basis, is the reality.

And it is mostly unaccounted for in any official reckoning of the CO2 emissions. As for example on the UN Charts just referenced in GCC,elsewhere on this blog.

If there were a proper accounting, many advanced western countries, including the USA, would have much greener CO2 emissions calculations. But that Reality would not serve to fulfill the environmental "dooms day" propaganda.

The winds across the North American continent are generally west to east. Why is it the the air arriving from the Pacific Ocean has a higher CO2 contentwhen compared with the air exiting North America over the Atlantic?

One would think that a lot of CO2 were removed.

But that couldn't happen in the propaganda about the "worst polluter" in the world, now could it? Not with all these factories, and SUVs spitting the evil plant food of CO2 into the atmosphere. But that seems to be the reality.

Unless, as the nut balls would allege, space aliens are sitting in Area 51, with the cooperation of the government, and are stealing the Earth 's CO2, perhaps.


To Stan Peterson:

I concur.

Well put.

The scaremongers must be confronted.

The situation here in Europe is dangerous. Green-iacs are moving towards fascism. The anti-american hate speech has lost all proportions. I am worried.


I hope you're right, but we still need to get rid of crude.
And it doesn't hurt to use less fuel as well.

Come on boys.
Who is scare mongering today again Stan. I know you cant help yourself but take a good look at the language we have just read. Then If you have nothing better to do , anylyse the perspective. Personally, I love the cimax stage of ecosystems as he most evolved version in that locality. That is not the regrowth and certainly not the monoculture plantation model. Sure nature maintains a diversity of stage progressions through the usual drought fire and flood tempest grazing and human activity plague and pestilance. I just really enjoy the end climaxic stage as the most evolved. Even you Stan.
Indeed I think you are a classic and certainly have a place in my "smithsonian"
But this Volvo is something else. An obvious choice for hybrid Electric. If youve ever watched or worked this class of machine you'll know what I'm saying.
The most economical way to operate such equipment is to keep the engine on constant power and feed the machine in smooth fluid "vanilla " style.
Now there's a good operator.
But the best operator will have moments where there is excess power available and we Know Hybrid electric can utilise those moments to charge the bank and the extra boost will always be appreciated for that little bit more push . 0 -100 if you have a tree coming after you will always be welcome even if it leaves half the rig behind....
Good Idea VOLVO.
PS what does it mean when a Volvo driver puts their hand out he window ?
A: The widow is open.



The only one so far talking any US bashing seems to be you, which makes me wonder how balanced your arguements are. It also doesn't say anything about CO2 emmissions of all the countries and who rates where. As for the healthyness of the forests in the US, there is a substantial difference between an old growth forest, and a piece of managed land. As for the cleanliness of the air, anyone living in Southern Ontario knows what blows out of the US and it certainly isn't innoculous.


"and it certainly isn't innoculous."

It may not be innoculous, but it sure is less than twenty years ago.

As for France RE-foresting, it sounds like the desperate propaganda of EUtopians unwilling to face their inevitable and deserved demise. Abandon all hope ye sinners!


wtf? Some people can take any good thing and launch a nasty attack from it I guess.


This looks like a nice piece of equipment.
As for the deforestation debate...A quick tour using Google Earth of NW Montana, Northern ID and northern Maine will show you that deforestation is definately a reality in the developed world. If you are still not convinced, swing on up through British Columbia. Note to foresters - it's not a "select cut" if you select every tree.

Harvey D

More applications the better. It would open the market for battery packs mass production at reduced price.

If all current ICE machines could be made 50%+ more efficient it could reduce oil consumption, imports and GHG without major effects our living standards.

fred schumacher

Sweden is in the forefront of sustainable forestry. That's why they use expensive equipment like this. It's called a forwarder because it takes select cut logs and brings them out to the landing where over-the-road trucks take over. The idea is to reduce soil disturbance and compaction by using specialized machinery. It has to be very maneuverable to get around standing trees. That's why the rig is articulated.

When you clear-cut, you don't use machinery like this. It's much too expensive for that kind of operation. Feller-bunchers, delimbers and slashers work together and the semi tractor-trailers come right to the cutting site, instead of logs being brought to them.

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