Sveaskog, a publicly owned Swedish forest company, has started using the first example of the El-forest F14 forestry machine, the world’s first forwarder to utilize electric-hybrid technology. The forwarder was developed by El-forest AB with assistance from the Volvo Technology Transfer venture-capital company. It will be on demonstration at the Elmia Wood trade fair in Jönköping, Sweden, on June 3-6, along with a wide range of other forestry machinery from Volvo Construction Equipment, as well as other products from the Volvo Group for the forest industry.
The electric hybrid technology in the El-forest F14 has attracted great interest among forest companies because of the possibility of reducing fuel consumption by 20 to 50 percent, which sharply reduces carbon-dioxide emissions.
“In addition to the significant fuel reduction, productivity and operator environment were prioritized, and consequently, profitability for our customers,” said Per Wassén, chairman of El-forest and Investment Director at Volvo Technology Transfer, which is owned by AB Volvo.
The El-forest F14 is a series hybrid involving a smaller diesel engine that drives a generator which, via batteries, provides electric energy to electric motors in the forwarder’s six wheels.
“The drive technology developed has great potential, since, for example, the diesel engine could be replaced by alternative biofuel engines or even with fuel cells in the future,” said Wassén.
The El-forest F14 is lighter than a conventional forwarder of the same size, but can cope with the same load. There is less impact on the forest environment due to a patented frame structure that enables all electric-driven wheels to follow the same track with adapted speed.
Volvo Technology Transfer AB focuses on developing and supporting new businesses relevant to the Volvo Group. Part of the effort is to invest in companies and projects that are technologically and commercially attractive.
The Volvo Group is a leading manufacturer of trucks, buses and construction equipment, drive systems for marine and industrial applications, aerospace components and services. The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service.