Volvo CE’s ‘industry first’ 48V DC charging protocol to drive electrification

Construction equipment being charged Volvo CE says that the announced will help contribute to a standardized, reliable and efficient electric ecosystem for construction

Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) is making available its 48 voltage DC protocol for electric charging solutions in a bid to accelerate electrification and make it easier for customers with a multi-branded fleet.

There is currently no industry standard for 48V DC (direct current) charging solutions – the power required for electric compact machines – which means customers currently likely need to source multiple different chargers if they have a multi-branded fleet.

Volvo CE has published its own brand-agnostic software protocol, as well as plug specifications, used on its 48V off-board DC chargers – with DC charging often commonly referred to as fast charging. This enables other OEMs and suppliers to use it in the development of their own charging solutions for compact machines.

The OEM says that by doing so it “aims to facilitate and accelerate the electromobility transformation” by helping the wider industry create more charging solutions – based on a common protocol – for the benefit of customers transitioning to emission-free solutions.

Volvo CE has one of the largest electric equipment ranges in construction with mini excavators and compact wheeled loaders being commercially available since 2020, as well as the 23-ton EC230 Electric excavator. 

“We want to contribute to a standardized, reliable and efficient electric ecosystem that makes it easy for our customers to go electric. Today, lacking a standard brand-agnostic charging interface for compact machines, our customers will need different chargers for different machine brands,” said Fredrik Tjernström, Electromobility Solutions Sales at Volvo CE.

“By making our charging interface public, we hope that we will see more and more charging solution providers and other machine OEMs using one and the same charging protocol – moving us a step closer to an industry standard for the benefit of customers everywhere.”

A 48V power supply is designed for the smallest range of compact construction machines. For Volvo CE, this currently applies to the ECR18 Electric, EC18 Electric and ECR25 Electric compact excavators, the L20 Electric and L25 Electric compact wheel loaders and the DD25 Electric asphalt compactor.

For heavier equipment, the use of a 600V power supply is required. There is already an industry standard protocol for this voltage that has been designed by the automotive industry.

The 48V DC protocol from Volvo CE is a free resource and is available at https://www.volvoce.com/global/en/our-offer/emobility/48V-protocol.

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