Volvo Construction Equipment has unveiled its HX2 autonomous, battery-electric load carrier. This second-generation concept is part of an overall program aiming to transform the quarry and aggregate industries. Its goal is to reduce emissions by up to 95 percent and costs of ownership by up to 25 percent.
The HX1 was introduced in September, 2016 and new developments, particularly in the autonomous driving aspect, have made this second-generation machine, the HX2.
“The HX2 is fundamentally different to the HX1,” said Uwe Müller, Volvo CE’s chief project manager for the electric site project. “The HX1 was proof of concept. Once we knew it was feasible we updated the design requirements for the HX2 to incorporate shared technologies and components from the Volvo Group, such as electric motors, batteries and power electronics. Integrating a completely new drivetrain was crucial to take full advantage of the groundbreaking electromobility developments that are happening inside the Volvo Group. Another new feature is the addition of a vision system, which allows the machine to detect humans and obstacles in its vicinity.
The electric site project aims to electrify a transport stage in a quarry—from excavation to primary crushing and transport to secondary crushing. It involves developing new machines, work methods and site management systems. As well as a small fleet of HX2s, other prototype machines that make-up the electric site system include a prototype electric hybrid wheel loader and a grid-connected excavator. New technology encompasses machine and fleet control systems and logistic solutions for electric machines in quarries.
Aaron is an automotive journalist living in Wyoming, USA. His background includes technology, mechanics, commercial vehicles, and new vehicle evaluations. Aaron is a member of several automotive media groups and writes for many well-known publications.