In case the launch of the flagship Polestar sub-brand and the acquisition and subsequent electrification of the storied Lotus Cars brand didn’t clue you in, Volvo is dead serious about being a major player in the electric future. If you’re a car nerd, like me, you’d be forgiven for thinking of Volvo as a sort of “underdog” in this fight, of course– but, then, you’d be forgetting about Volvo’s real empire: big-a** commercial trucks. It’s there, in the CE division, that you will find some of the most amazing innovations in the business.
That weird bucket thing up there? That’s Volvo’s fully autonomous, battery-electric, driverless hauler, the HX1. The wheel-loader that’s, well, loading it up? It’s a diesel-electric hybrid called the LX1, and it can reduce emissions on a job site by 50% compared to conventional equipment. It achieves this with individual electric drive motors mounted directly at the wheels, electric hydraulics, an energy storage system, and a significantly smaller diesel engine than the competition.
Johan Sjöberg, technical specialist in site automation at Volvo CE, believes machines like this can transform the quarry and aggregates industry by reducing carbon emissions by up to 95% and total cost of ownership by up to 25%. “By using electricity instead of diesel to power construction equipment in a quarry we have the potential to deliver significant reductions in fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, environmental impact and cost-per-ton.”
So, yeah– automation plus electrification seems to be the way forward, but how did we get to this point? Volvo was decent enough to provide us with this handy-dandy infographic, below, talking about the history– and future!– of AI. Take a look, then let us know what you think in the comments section at the bottom of the page.