Yellow construction machines are beginning to go electric, and this raises an interesting question: Many construction sites have no access to grid power, so how are these EVs to be recharged?
To address this issue, Volvo Construction Equipment has partnered with Portable Electric, a North American provider of energy generation and storage solutions. Portable Electric’s Voltstack mobile power stations “are either directly replacing fossil-fuel generators or being hybridized with them to significantly reduce the runtimes of said noxious gensets.”
The Voltstack 30k is a battery energy storage system that can provide mobile charging solutions for construction sites. It has 30 kW of power output and 80 kWh of battery capacity, and can be recharged via the grid, a solar array or a diesel genset.
Volvo CE’s 245 North American dealer locations will offer customers the opportunity to bundle the Voltstack 30k Level 2 e-Charger with the purchase of Volvo electric equipment.
“Bundling charging infrastructure like the Voltstack 30k Level 2 e-Charger with the purchase of our electric excavators or wheel loaders supports customers in reducing the carbon footprint of construction sites,” said Ray Gallant, VP Sustainability and Productivity Services at Volvo CE.
Charge EVs from a diesel generator? Horrors! But Portable clearly proposes this as a last resort: “The Voltstack 30k can also be hybridized with a generator to provide off-grid power through its Smart Hybrid feature [which] allows the Voltstack 30k to automatically engage a diesel generator when it reaches a state of low charge.”
Battery storage allows the use of a generator to be minimized, and the Voltstack is portable, so it could be transported to and from the job site and recharged from the grid outside of work hours. (Also worth noting: in one experiment, an EV charged from a diesel generator was found to deliver higher fuel efficiency than a diesel-powered vehicle.)
“With its silent operation and emission-free power source, the Voltstack 30k Level 2 e-Charger is an ideal mobile charging solution for construction sites where noise, air pollution and recharge times are a concern,” said Scott Hardy, CEO of Portable Electric.