Prototype next-generation excavator from Volvo CE features updated cab, cooling, and technology
First model in the next gen line will be the 50-ton EC500
The prototype excavator introduces a new generation of Volvo CE excavators that have improvements across cab design and operator interface along with safety and productivity enhancements.
A successor to the Volvo EC480E, the EC500 is a new 50-ton crawler excavator for building and construction, road construction, utilities, quarrying, aggregates, agriculture, and landscaping. It will be available in regulated markets including North America, Europe, and Korea.
"We're excited to share the first look at our next-generation excavator," says Stephen Roy, president of Volvo CE North America. "As a pre-production model, there will be some differences to the appearance of the EC500 that will be available to our customers, but it gives an insight into the future, with enhanced safety, operability, and productivity."
The EC500 features an updated cab and Volvo Smart View technology
The cab on the EC500 delivers a new layout and features including a high-definition co-pilot screen, keyless engine start, wired and wireless smartphone charging, and a new work mode switch.
In order to increase operator and job site safety, Volvo CE has added Volvo Smart View with Obstacle Detection to the EC500 excavator. With the safety system, operators have a 360-degree view thanks to an improved camera system and a new radar detection system which provides automatic alerts when the excavator approaches any obstacle, identifying and classifying them as an object or human, and allowing the operator to take remedial action. Three-point access guard rails and a foldable top handrail for transportation are important new safety features.
This next generation of excavator is also set up to access a range of machine options to help operators complete their tasks faster. These include the operator coaching app, Volvo Dig Assist, and Volvo Lift Assist, all accessed via the co-pilot screen in the cab. Volvo Active Control, an automated grading system and part of the Dig Assist suite of tools, will also be available for the first time on an excavator of this size.
"With the EC500 and our next generation of excavators, we are utilizing new technologies to help operators work more productively and with more speed, precision, and consistency, to help them get the job done every time," adds Sejong Ko, product manager excavators at Volvo CE North America.
The EC500 delivers faster cycle times and improved fuel efficiency
New electric joysticks allow for more control over the hydraulic system. The hydraulic pumps can be operated together as well as virtually disconnected, allowing the operator to control the boom without affecting track speed, delivering safety benefits and a smoother ride for the operator. This also increases controllability, shortens cycle times, and improves fuel efficiency – delivering higher productivity and performance.
Comfort Driver Control allows the operator to move forwards, backwards, and steer with the joysticks. Each operator can set up their own hydraulic settings based upon their preferences and the application they are working on and save them in Co-Pilot so they can be quickly and easily accessed for future sessions.
Machine uptime and reduced maintenance costs of the EC500
Increased cooling capacity means the EC500 can handle the most extreme weather conditions and the excavator also benefits from longer service intervals – from 2,000 to 3,000 hours – for the hydraulic oil and filter, bringing cost savings from reduced maintenance requirements and increased uptime.
Production of the EC500 will begin in Q4 2023 and the machine will be available in select markets. More next-generation models will follow.