Volvo makes e-hauler investment
By Mike Brezonick02 November 2022
Volvo Construction Equipment said it is investing into the future of its facility in Braås, Sweden, the home of its range of articulated haulers, as a signal of its commitment to lead the transformation across all products toward a more sustainable construction future. The company has announced its intention to invest SEK 360 million – approximately US$32.7million – into its production facility in Braås, Sweden between now and 2027.
The facility in Braås specializes in the design and manufacture of articulated haulers for the global market. It produced a fossil-free construction machine that was the first in the world to be delivered to a customer - an A30G which is now in use on customer NCC’s worksite.
The decision to invest in Braås was made by AB Volvo’s board of directors and means that the factory will be adapted over the coming years to enable it to produce a larger range of articulated haulers with different types of powertrains to reflect the shift in demand towards equipment with more sustainable power sources.
The investment will be used to extend production capacity at the 45,000 m² site in southern Sweden to broaden the product range going forwards, with the addition of new buildings and production equipment. Volvo CE will also invest in automation and ergonomics to both reduce the need for employees to engage in repetitive tasks and create a safer work environment.
Volvo CE said that pioneering manufacturing techniques is nothing new for Braås. Since producing the world’s first series manufactured articulated hauler, the “Gravel Charlie”, a 10-ton hauler in 1966, the facility has been at the forefront of innovation. As well as constructing the world’s first articulated hauler made from fossil-free steel, the site was instrumental in the building of the world’s first prototype articulated hauler powered by hydrogen fuel cells – the concept Volvo HX04 – which is currently the focus of testing to develop future hydrogen solutions.
Braås is also leading the way in environmental protection and was the first in the construction industry to achieve a carbon neutral operation powered entirely by renewable energy. In 2018, the site also became a zero-landfill facility.
“The transport and construction industry is undergoing a transformation with, among other things, an increasing number of electrified vehicles,” said Jonas Lakhall, site manager at Volvo CE in Braås. “This investment will enable us to adapt and extend our production facility so that we can offer a broader range of machines – with different powertrains – to our customers and help them meet their emission reduction ambitions.”