German tree farm putting Volvo’s first electric compact wheel loader to the test
Leick Baumschulen is testing the first L25 Electric compact wheel loader from Volvo Construction Equipment, finding it to be a quiet, emission-free and easy-to-maintain addition to the tree farm and landscaping company’s fleet.
Based 30 minutes from the Volvo CE factory in Konz, Germany, where the L25 Electric will be produced from mid-2020, Leick Baumschulen is the first customer in the world to test this new ‘green’ machine.
The tree farm and landscaping company has been a Volvo customer for 34 years with a strong focus on sustainability and openness to new technologies related to environmental aspects. The highly-skilled operators at Leick Baumschulen use compact wheel loaders daily for a wide range of jobs – from pallet handling and loading material to grading and sweeping.
“This variety of tasks makes it the perfect real-world scenario for us to test our new electric compact wheel loader together with our customer,” says Paolo Mannesi, global compact wheel loader product manager for Volvo CE.
Having already invested in electric golf carts to comfortably show customers around its large yard and display area, Leick Baumschulen wanted to explore the advantages of electrification for its fleet of construction equipment too.
The owners of the company, Christoph and Michael Leick, strongly believe in electrification and see the benefits in line with their entrepreneurial thinking. They feel it is a big recognition from Volvo to be part of such development and are happy to know that they can contribute to future products with the experience they have in their segment.
The Volvo L25 Electric is powered by lithium-ion batteries that cover an eight hour working shift with one single charge in the machine’s regular applications, which include light infrastructure work, gardening, landscaping and agriculture. The L25 also incorporates two dedicated electric motors – one for the drivetrain and one of the hydraulics. Decoupling the subsystems has led to higher efficiency across the entire machine.
All the power, none of the noise
Leick Baumschulen operators’ first impressions of the Volvo L25 Electric are that it functions much like a conventional diesel-powered machine but with the benefits of electrification.
“It is a product with the right performance and great design. The machine operates like a conventional wheel loader, but with improved comfort for the driver and surroundings – it feels similar when it comes to power but is quieter has less vibration, less maintenance and is emission-free locally,” says Christoph Leick, co-owner of Leick Baumschulen
For Leick Baumschulen the quiet operation of the Volvo L25 Electric is among its biggest advantages.
“We also operate the machine to transport plants in our show area where customers are coming in and out. With this machine, it is more comfortable for our customers and our employees as the noise level is much lower. This means we can keep our conversation and discussions going with our customers when the machine is operating nearby,” he says.
The other main benefit for the company is its ease of maintenance.
“The machine requires less maintenance as it has no engine – we don’t need to check the engine oil and coolant every day or refill fuel. We simply charge it overnight, which is very easy. You just need to plug one end of the charger into the machine as well as the other into a normal household socket. That’s it. There’s actually nothing you can do wrong – it is easy and safe,” he continues.
Mannesi says: “We are really satisfied with the machine performance when it comes to the power, the very low noise level and driver comfort. In some areas it even exceeded our expectations.
“I’m really proud of the team at Volvo CE for all the hard work they have done to make the L25 Electric possible. We can see that the really good teamwork gets reflected in the Project as well as in the Product. It’s so great to see the machine now working at a customer’s site and how it makes their daily job easier and more comfortable. That’s what we get out of bed for.”
The Volvo L25 Electric compact wheel loader is currently being tested by Leick Baumschulen in a pilot phase. The machine will be available for general sale from mid-2020 when Volvo CE will stop the development of new diesel engine-based L20 to L28 compact wheel loader models.