(L-R, front row): Seth Sjoberg, electrical designer, Volvo CE; Josh Sumsion, marketing, Arnold Machinery; Grayson Denny, sales, Arnold Machinery. (L-R, second row): Najing Li, product manager of e-mobility, Volvo CE; Ben Ditchcreek, chief project manager, Volvo CE; S.S., product manager of e-mobility, Volvo CE; Garrett Allyn, sales, Arnold Machinery; Eric Haines, sales, Arnold Machinery; Monty Chrans, sales, Arnold Machinery. Tracy Gale, sales, Arnold Machinery; Logan Ormond, sales manager, Arnold Machinery; Diego Barbosa, sales, Arnold Machinery; (L-R, back row): Michael Miles, president, Arnold Machinery; Tony Papania, district customer support manager, Volvo CE; and Lars Arnold, product manager of e-mobility, Volvo CE. Not Pictured: Justin Bench, shop foreman; Spencer Gerrard, branch manager; Britten Harmon, advertising director; Baylee Sonner, inside sales; and Trevor Thomas, sales, all of Arnold Machinery.
(Arnold Machinery photo)
Arnold Machinery Construction Equipment Division hosted an all-Electric Demo Day on April 12, 2023, at its Salt Lake City location. Customers, partners and other industry professionals were invited to test drive the latest Volvo electric models, including the L20, ECR25 and the new EC230 in full operation.
More than 75 attendees enjoyed a catered barbeque lunch while they learned about how Volvo electric equipment operates with zero emissions, is low maintenance, produces no harmful noises and the ultimate reliability during this exclusive event.
Customers were quick to get in the cab of the ECR25, the Volvo electric compact excavator — the first in a new range of electric compact excavators. Alex Parker, owner/field manager of Parker Rock n Dirt, put the mini-excavator through some trials.
"I was very impressed with its power, he said. "I tried to bog it down by twisting those tracks, but it never got bogged down."
Parker pointed out that as a "dirt guy, I'm typically the first one on site, digging trenches, grading, etc. For me, the cost of the machine and the long-term ROI is an unknown. I can see jobs where it could be very useful for inside buildings, demo work, foods, that kind of stuff."
The highlight of the event seemed to be the EC230E, the latest addition to the electric lineup, which is based on the conventional diesel-powered EC220E. It delivers the same performance with zero emissions.
"There are currently four or five ECR 230E units across North America and Arnold Machinery wants to be the first to sell one," said Logan Ormond, northern sales manager of Arnold Machinery Company.
Najing Li, Volvo product manager of e-mobility, walked customers through the features and benefits of the EC230E.
"The cab offers 360-degree viewing with the two large displays," Li said. "The only difference between the electric model vs. the diesel is the driveline. Customers won't feel the vibration that they may normally feel with a diesel engine."
The number one question from customers, according to Li, is regarding battery life.
"When customers are on a job site, they often need to work an 8-to-10-hour day," Li added. "The charge on this unit lasts roughly 4-to-5 hours, but the optional DC charger can extend your workday to the full nine-hour day."
Li described the battery charge as simple as, "Your body needs fuel [food], so does your machine. When you go to lunch for food, your battery also needs to eat. By using the optional DC charger, you can charge this unit from empty to 80 percent within an hour, giving you your nine-hour day."
Other questions included whether the machine would start to slow down as it began to run low on battery, which according to Li, "it's just like your phone when it runs out of power, it does not slow, it simply stops."
Customers were excited and impressed with its performance, power and lack of engine noise, which many thought would be beneficial on the job site offering the ability to communicate with your team.
Beto Diez, of the city of South Salt Lake Public Works, came to the event specifically to demo the EC230E.
"I like it, it runs so smooth," Diez said. "I don't hear any engine noise, it's very quiet. It has the same power and seems perfect for the future. It's a very nice machine."
Kim Gladden of E.T. Technologies operated all three machines available at this event.
"I like the EC230E, we do environmental work and a lot of work inside buildings, where you can't have any noxious fumes from diesel engines," Gladden said. "The power and versatility are equal to diesel."
Gladden's only hesitation would be, "the availability of charging for us, as many of the buildings we work in are out of service buildings." So, he would have to bring a separate unit to charge overnight. Gladden is a customer of Arnold Machinery and credits his relationship with his rep, Grayson Denny, for his continued business.
Taylor Allen, owner of Allen Industrial, said he "loved the clean set-up and that the controls are the same. The layout is great, very accessible, which is important. It's super quiet, great for indoor."
Although Allen is in construction, his business "deals more on the real estate side, moving trees, or unorthodox stuff. It would be a good machine for that and can see its use on highways and neighborhoods or some applications where there are noise restrictions."
Tony Pay with Premier Rockwall loved operating it. "I'm curious to see it under load or how it would operate with that. But I'm impressed with how quiet it was. [I still need to] wrap my head around the charging aspect."
Alex Parker of Parker Rock n Dirt thought it was phenomenal.
"It had a strong quick response time," Parker said.
Although Parker hasn't seen it yet, there is likely a future where "contracts would be awarded because of your fuel efficiency or your carbon footprint."
According to Logan Ormond, northern sales manager of Arnold Machinery, Volvo is offering special leasing opportunities and APRs on electric machines."
According to Ormond, he also sees these first five years of use where people will start to see what the pros vs. cons are for recycling the batteries or swapping them out.
Volvo released the Volvo ECR25 electric compact excavator at the end of 2022 and with the newest release of the larger excavator. The company feels it is leading the charge in the conversion to electric machines. CEG
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