Reduces emissions and noise pollution on construction sites, as well as operating costs: this was the challenge faced by Symbio and the other partners of the Elexc project (Electric Excavator)* conducted between 2012 and 2015 and lead by Volvo Construction Equipment.


The result: a compact electric and hydrogen powered excavator of 2.7 tons. Being zero emission and much less noisy than its fossil fuel equivalent (the sound levels divided by eight), it is perfectly adapted to usage in an urban environment.


It also has eight hours worth of range and lower operating costs, thanks to the lower price of electrical energy and less maintenance operations.


The prototype was presented in 2017 at the Volvo Group Innovations Summit in London, an international event dedicated to infrastructure and transport in cities of the future. It is equipped with a hydrogen fuel system designed and developed by Symbio.


*The other project partners include the Ampère laboratory, companies Bonfiglioli, Elbi, EFS SA and Prollion. They collaborated within the framework of competitiveness clusters Viaméca and Tenerrdis.


By integrating its H2MotivS module into the compact excavator, Symbio has met Volvo’s requirements in terms of:

  • Compactness: the hydrogen fuel system consists of a 5 kW hydrogen fuel cell, and fits into the restricted space offered by the vehicle without any modification to the electrical system.


  • Environmental suitability: Hydrogen system components have been specially developed to withstand shock and vibration.

Hydrogen technology allows to:

  • Significantly increase the range of the compact excavator by 4 hours, allowing the use of the vehicle for a whole day of work.


  • Reduce noise pollution, which simplifies driving in urban areas and renting out vehicles to individuals