It was created by BAM’s plant and equipment department, working on an old machine that was due for an overhaul.
This week the emission-free road roller was put to work on its first project, in the city of Almere.
Koob Bovenhuis, manager of the plant division BAM Infra Materieel, said: “This has been an incredible achievement and a fine example of the expertise and can-do mindset of our people. From the initial idea during a strategy session, it’s taken us just one and a half years to make the electric road roller a reality.”
The company said that electric alternatives are available for many types of lighter equipment but that the options in the heavier categories are few and far between. Staff put their specialist knowledge to use in the design and fabrication in an effort to realise BAM’s sustainability ambitions and those of its clients.
Thanks to its electric propulsion, the roller emits no carbon dioxide or nitrogen whatsoever. In addition, the electric road roller is much quieter than conventional models.
BAM said that, compared to other heavy equipment, electrification of road rollers is relatively simple as they don’t have to perform repetitive heavy lifts tasks or prolonged excavation tasks. Much like a car, a roller needs energy mostly for driving and steering. Of course, the engine of a road roller needs to propel more weight, but unlike a car a roller doesn’t need an extensive driving range.
The electric conversion saves seven litres of fuel per hour compared to the roller’s original diesel engine. With the electric road roller, BAM is able to reduce its carbon emissions by approximately 236kg per day. On an annual basis, with 180 days of operation, the roller could reduce CO2 emissions by more than 42,000 kilograms.
A fully charged battery will keep the roller running for eight hours, and recharging takes just three to five hours. As a result, the company said that it can count on the road roller to be ready for action every morning.
BAM said that it considers the electric road roller to be just the first step towards developing a fully emission-free paving train. In addition to electric propulsion, the use of hydrogen could offer possible solutions for the propulsion of heavier equipment.