Volvo CE declares success in UAE with electric wheel loader

Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) said its L120H Electric wheel loader ‘shined’ amid a test in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a region the company expects will be active this year and in the future.

The Volvo CE L120H Electric wheel loader (Image: Volvo CE) The Volvo CE L120H Electric wheel loader during a test of its capabilities in the United Arab Emirates. (Image: Volvo CE)

Collaborating with UAE based rental company FAMCO (Al-Futtaim Auto & Machinery Company), as well as concrete-supplier ALAS Emirates Ready Mix (also UAE-based), the group used the L120H to load stockpiles into a feeder hopper at ALAS’ ready-mix site in Abu Dhabi.

Ilkay Fidan, commercial manager for Volvo CE in the Middle East, said, “The L120H Electric has now been tested extensively in applications including ready-mix concrete production and the results have been very encouraging, demonstrating strong performance while significantly reducing emissions.”

ALAS’ production manager Eli Touma noted the machine’s manoeuvrability and lower noise pollution as highlights.

Chris Sleight of Off-Highway Research suggested the continued trials in the Middle East for Volvo CE may be due to the extreme temperatures and conditions that afflict the area in the summer months.

“I suspect choosing UAE has a bit to do with pricing the durability of the equipment, as temperatures and humidity will be sky high this time of year and it can also be very dusty as it’s mostly desert once you’re outside the cities,” he said.

Volvo CE sees potential for UAE construction market

Volvo CE said it expects sales and construction activity to rise in the UAE and acknowledged the L120H trial was a step in engaging the market.

“The decision to test the L120H Electric wheel loader in the UAE reflects Volvo CE’s dedication to meeting the evolving needs of the construction industry in the region,” said the company.

“With the UAE’s growing focus on sustainability and green initiatives, the introduction of the electric loader underscores Volvo CE’s commitment to supporting the nation’s sustainability goals and contributing to a greener future as the nation continues to prosper, with the UAE construction market valued at $US98.3 billion in 2023,” added Volvo CE.

Data and statistic firms expect the UAE’s construction activity to grow annually between 3 and 5%.

One of the country’s largest-ever infrastructure projects – a railway build between Oman and the UAE – was announced in late 2022 with a price tag of $3 billion. It’s just one example of dozens of megaprojects scheduled, underway, or completed.

All this work underscored Volvo CE’s interest in the UAE.

“The UAE emerged as the ideal location to pilot electric machines as a mature construction equipment market with strong potential for e-mobility,” added Fidan. “This success strengthens our confidence in a wider launch of these electric models in the UAE and around target areas of the Middle East.

“We believe this is a significant step forward for sustainable construction in the region, and we’re excited to be at the forefront of this change.”

Volvo CE said trails will continue in the UAE in the short-term but added the company “looks forward to its commercial launch” there in the future.

Specs and details on the Volvo CE L120H

The L120H Electric is based on Volvo CE’s gas-powered L120 wheel loader.

It’s a 20-tonne (22.05-ton) unit powered by 282 kWh (kilawatt-per-hour) batteries and a Parker GVM310 electric motor that can run for eight hours in light- and medium-duty applications.

It has a static tipping load at full-turn of 12,300kg (27,117 lbs), a bucket capacity range of 2.5 to 9.5m3 (88.3 to 335 cu ft), and an operating weight range of 19,000 to 21,600kg (41,888 to 47,620 lbs), depending on the application. It has a max power and torque of 1,400 rpm (revolutions-per-minute).

Volvo CE said the unit’s low noise and vibration output make it productive for indoor settings, as well as outdoor sites.

One unit is used by a US-based rallycross outfit to smooth track surface:


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