Royal BAM announces ‘world’s first’ fully electric asphalt road paver

Dutch civil engineering company Royal BAM has announced a fully-electric asphalt spreading road paver, which will save more than 93,000 kilograms of CO₂ and 115,000 grams of nitrous oxide emissions compared to its bio-diesel counterparts.

Working together with partners at Wirtgen and New Electric, BAM has replaced the vegetable-oil sourced, bio-diesel powered Volvo Penta Stage V engines with an electric drive, consisting of two “smartly switched electric motors” that pull electrons from a massive 270 kWh battery. For those you keeping score, that’s more than twice as big as the battery used in the 500-mile range Lucid Air electric sedan. (!)

Once the work is done and the road is paved, the Royal BAM machine can power up it’s second 270 kWh battery (!!) and drive itself to the next project, or back to the fleet depot after a long working day.

Interchangeable parts

What’s more, these huge batteries aren’t unique to the road paver. Royal BAM released the first all-electric road roller in 2020, and seems to have plans to develop even more electrified road grading equipment in the coming years that will use a similar battery architecture, allowing for modular designs, improved economies of scale, and – eventually – battery swapping. “This exchangeable battery is also suitable for use in other electric equipment.”

Electric road-roller, courtesy Royal BAM.

In addition to the benefits of reduced emissions, lower fuel costs, and fewer maintenance demands, BAM cites reduced vehicle noise and improved safety among the reasons companies may want to accelerate their switch to electric. BAM says it is looking to further reduce its negative impact on the environment by training employees in ‘het Nieuwe Draaien’ (a new, efficient way of working with construction and earth-moving machines), as well as investing in “the electrical chain”.

Currently, ninety percent of BAM Infra Nederland’s plant runs on Volvo Penta Stage V engines using HVO-based bio diesel as fuel – but the company aims to have the first zero emissions “asphalt set” on the road making roads by mid-2022. You can catch a video of the new road paver, below.

Electrek’s Take

Construction and big engineering/excavating firms often run on paper-thin profit margins, and a mistake of 2-3% in cost estimation could wipe out any profits a job might produce. Electric equipment‘s ability to reduce downtime, cut down sickness, injuries, and disability claims, and run on a more stable fuel will make machines like this and the electric Doosan Bobcat jobsite darlings when they reach full scale production.

Source | Images: BAM, via Global Construction Review.

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Royal BAM announces ‘world’s first’ fully electric road paver and massive 270 kWh batteries