Impact of vehicle electrification on excavators and wheel loaders

DOE VTO has played a critical role in enabling electrification and reducing fuel consumption in the automotive sector. The off-road vehicle sector accounts for 8% of transportation fuel and that share is likely to increase over time as on-road vehicles move towards electrification. The objective of the study were to expand Autonomie to include off-road applications, quantify the potential fuel savings of selected applications resulting from electrification, thus facilitating collaboration within industry.

Within the construction market, excavators and wheel loaders are respectively the #1 and #2 biggest consumers. Excavators and wheel loaders were selected as the first applications to be modeled in Autonomie.

While there is no standardized and regulatory vehicle level duty cycle for wheel loader and off-road machines in general, a duty cycle for wheel loader commonly used to assess vehicle level fuel consumption is the so-called V-cycle which describes the repetitive back and forth vehicle motion carried out as the vehicle loads material in the bucket and dumps it in a truck.

Wheel loader V-cycle and hydraulic functions

For the applications and drive cycles considered, electrification provided 5% energy savings for the excavator and 15% for the wheel loader.

For more information,

Freyermuth, Vincent, Vijayagopal, Ram, and Rousseau, Aymeric. Off-Road Vehicle Energy-Saving Potential. United States: N. p., 2021. Web. doi:10.2172/1818063.

Off-Road Vehicle Energy-Saving Potential (Technical Report) | OSTI.GOV