|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.