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Volvo Penta & Gradall collaborate on electric excavator concept

Volvo Penta and leading North American telescopic boom excavator manufacturer Gradall Industries are showcasing the latest development in their partnership at CONEXPO this week—an electrified version of the OEM’s XL 4100 V highway speed wheeled excavator. The zero-emissions concept machine, named EL41H4, is on display at the Gradall Booth, W41500.


The concept machine is powered entirely by two Volvo Penta batteries, matched to the duty cycle of the excavator, which fit neatly into the existing engine bay. The electric driveline system from Volvo Penta also includes the complete high voltage system—electric motors, gearboxes, inverters, junction boxes and cabling.


The partnership between Volvo Penta and Gradall began in 2014 when Volvo Penta became the exclusive supplier of 5 and 8-liter Tier 4 Final engines for Gradall’s diesel-powered telescopic boom excavators. This nearly decade-long partnership made Volvo Penta the obvious choice for the company’s first step into electromobility.

With growing interest from Gradall’s municipality customers for quieter, cleaner solutions that meet intensifying sustainability demands and regulations, collaborative discussions between Gradall and Volvo Penta began in spring 2022.

Unlike a traditional hydraulic excavator, Gradall’s highway speed solution features a telescopic boom mounted next to a separate cab sitting to the rear of a road-going chassis that allows the machine to be independently dispatched to many locations throughout the workday, rather than requiring a low loader for transport.

With a hydraulic system powered by a Volvo Penta-supplied electric machine power take-off (EM PTO), this concept machine can effectively use battery power to transport its own excavator. The system will deliver 94 kWh of energy, and with the increased likelihood of the EL41H4 operator returning to the yard between jobs or for lunch, the potential is high for opportunity charging, or reaching full capacity in under 45 minutes from a 150kW charger.

The unique highway speed desig—and its suitability for work in environments where knuckle boom models may not be the ideal fit for operation, such as under overhead obstructions like power lines—means the concept has potential for application to other designs in the Gradall portfolio. Currently, the EL41H4 is still a concept machine and further testing and development is required before the next steps can be decided.

Following its appearance at CONEXPO and at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) display at the National Mall in Washington, DC in May, the EL41H4 will undergo extensive testing and verification to optimize it for the application.


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