Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) has announced an investment into battery pack production at its excavator plant in Changwon, South Korea. This signals once again the company’s ambition to drive industry transformation with sustainable solutions.
With the SEK 80 million (£6.4 million/€7.25 million/$7.8 million) investment from Volvo Group, the new production facility, which at around 1.1 million square metres, is the largest excavator production site in Volvo CE and will produce around 55 per cent of its total excavator volumes.
The new facility at the Changwon plant will produce a wide range of common electric storage solutions (battery packs) for Volvo Group. Plus, it will become a core competence centre for electric excavators. It’s good to see Volvo expanding this range of electric vehicles, which many often forget about when it comes to sustainable vehicles and machinery.
This will enable Volvo Group to offer more sustainable solutions to its Asia-Pacifc (APAC) markets in a more flexible, cost-effective and agile way. This will include supply chain, manufacturing and logistics.
Andy Knight, Head of Operations Excavator and Managing Director of Volvo Group Korea, said: “As the largest plant in Volvo CE and the core site for excavator development and production, Changwon is at the forefront of our shift to a sustainable future.
“This investment is an important milestone in our electrification roadmap and supports our recent investments in production facilities for electric excavators.
“Changwon is ideally located close to battery module supply partners and other key suppliers in South Korea to meet the needs of customers in the future. We are also home to a highly skilled and motivated workforce who are fully committed to meeting our future environmental targets.”
The new production facility will be built inside the current component workshop at Changwon without disruption to the existing operation. Once complete the facility will be approximately 2,500 square metres including assembly and logistics areas. The building work will begin in April 2023, with battery pack production expected to commence in June 2024.
This announcement is another important step forward towards the company’s Science Based Targets initiative and its ambition to be fossil-free, with 35 per cent of machine sales to be electric by 2030.
Volvo CE has already successfully introduced compact electric excavators to the global market with the ECR25 Electric, ECR18 Electric, EC18 Electric and the mid-size EC230 Electric excavators. Together with its compact electric wheel loaders, Volvo CE has one of the largest electric ranges on the market.
Back in 2020, Volvo CE delivered its first all-electric construction and plant machinery, so it’s good to see such an expansion in a short period of time.