Exhibiting companies incentives are needed to facilitate the transition to hybrid or electric operating machinery
Verona, 8 May 2023 – The green revolution in the construction machinery sector has begun. Many manufacturers on the market already offer a range of electric or hybrid vehicles: from mini-excavators to trucks with cranes through to concrete mixers.
The turning point for sustainability is around the corner and is the goal we must aim for. Many of the 536 companies exhibiting at Samoter are convinced of this. The international construction machinery exhibition was scheduled at Veronafiere until yesterday Sunday 7 May.
Low-impact technologies are a reality by now: yet while they are environmentally sustainable, is this also the case in economic terms? Once again, it is a question of making ends meet. Currently, zero-emission construction sites still cost about 30% more than “conventional” ones, although savings are amortized over the longer term thanks to lower fuel and maintenance costs.
So, at the moment, the way ahead to make new environmentally friendly technologies even more competitive seems to be linked with incentive policies to stimulate demand and activate scale economies on the move towards the complete transition of the machinery fleet.
This emerged at Samoter during the “Working with zero emissions? Here’s how, in our virtual urban construction site” conference organised in collaboration with Vaielettrico.
“We initially analysed technical feasibility in terms of availability of zero-impact plant and found that trucks, concrete mixers, mini-excavators, vans and mobile power banks are already available on the market today,” said Claudio Bettini of Site. “We then focused on cost-effectiveness and found that, to date, current figures show that the gap between conventional and zero-emission sites is 30% to the detriment of the latter. Higher costs for machinery are the main factor, whereas in terms of fuel and maintenance costs, sustainable construction sites are more advantageous.”
“In order to carry zero emission construction sites forward, collaboration across the entire supply chain is vital,” explained Karim Moussa of Tesmec, which provided the virtual construction site with a ground penetrating radar to check underground utilities and an electric wheeled excavator. “An incentive policy is essential to stimulate market demand and activate cascading scale economies.”
“We must activate levers that help manufacturers produce more,” agreed Emanuele Viel of Komatsu, which will soon launch its first 100% electric excavator. “In addition to incentives, tenders rewarding zero-emission construction sites would certainly stimulate demand for electric machinery.”
“Our electric range is now also complete in the heavy-duty segment,” said Arthur Fricks Gomes of Volvo Trucks, whose FMX electric 6×2 with a crane bed and electric concrete mixer were used in the simulation. “The goal we are striving for is to build only zero-emission vehicles.”
“New technologies will soon make it possible to improve battery pack performance levels with obvious benefits in economic terms,” concluded Francesco Mastrandrea of E-Gap Engineering, which supplied the mobile charging systems. Zero emission vehicles are available and the virtual zero impact project has proven that the construction sector is at a turning point: in the future, the question of power availability will also have a real impact on construction sites. Technologies such as ours, which are not in competition with fixed infrastructures, will be able to make a difference.”