Volvo’s Futuristic Electric Vehicle Wins Design Competition

Volvo CE believes its award-winning design of the HX1 electric-drive load carrier marks the possible start of an industry trend
toward smaller, special-purpose production vehicles, as opposed to fewer, more general-purpose vehicles at mine sites.
Volvo Construction Equipment recently claimed a Swedish Quality Innovation of the Year Award for its concept HX1 autonomous, battery-electric load carrier. Winning in the Potential Innovations category, Volvo CE’s vision of a futuristic machine is one element of a current electric-site research project that is predicted to cut carbon emissions by up to 95% and lower total cost of ownership by a quarter.

The company said the HX1 represents a new approach to a sustainable future concept, based on electromobility and autonomous vehicles. Rather than having a few, large, versatile machines (as is common at mining sites today), the HX1 demonstrates the usefulness of smaller and more numerous, specialist machines. This “elephants to ants” concept, said Volvo CE, is a new way of meeting customer needs, combining intelligent machines, automation and electromobility.

The HX1 concept vehicle is a product of Volvo’s Concept Lab, which also has developed the LX1, a hybrid loader with electric drive motors mounted at the wheels, electric hydraulics, an energy storage system, a significantly smaller diesel engine and new machine architecture. This combination, according to Volvo CE, offers the potential to improve fuel efficiency by up to 50%, and the prototype, which has 98% new parts and a fundamentally new machine design, is capable of doing the work of a wheel loader that’s one size larger.

“The HX1 forms part of Volvo CE’s long-term ambition of achieving sustainable transportation solutions,” said Patrik Lundblad, senior vice president of Volvo CE’s Technology function.

The Quality Innovation Awards competition recognizes organizations that develop innovative solutions using a systematic approach to meet clearly identified customer needs.

As featured in Womp 2017 Vol 02 -