Hybridization gains ground among heavy vehicles

Friday, December 18, 2015

The world’s first hybridized reach stacker is in serial production – an indication that electric and hybrid technology is advancing from research to production on a wide front. A rapid development of heavy-duty vehicles is good for Sweden, says Anders Grauers, hybrid vehicle specialist at SHC.

“Sweden has several manufacturers of heavy-duty vehicles such as forest machines, loaders and mining trucks. If this sector develops rapidly, it could be a competitive advantage for Sweden”, says Anders Grauers.

Reach stacker_225
The reach stacker is a serial electric hybrid with electric hydraulics and drivetrain, equipped with a super capacitor based energy storage.

Swedish manufacturer Konecranes launched a hybridized lift truck in 2013. The truck is a so-called reach stacker and the first of its kind in the world to be hybridized. The manufacturer sees many benefits from hybridization and claims that the new model performs the tasks faster and have lower operating costs than a conventionally powered truck, due to 30-40% lower fuel consumption and less maintenance cost. Moreover, the diesel engine runs on lower rpm which makes the truck less noisy. The higher purchase price compared to conventional alternatives pay off over 2-3 years of use according to Konecranes.

The prototype has been tested at the Port of Helsingborg, where fuel costs and emissions have been reduced by at least 30% for daily operation, combined with a 10% increase in productivity compared to a conventional diesel truck.

“Electric and hybrid technology investments within this product category indicate that we are moving from research to production in the broad sense”, says Anders Grauers. “Manufacturers of heavy-duty equipment are often cautious about the development of new technology since it is a very costly investment seen in relation to their low production. It is promising that they nevertheless consider hybrid technology worth the investment.”


Konecranes’ reach stacker is a serial electric hybrid with electric hydraulics and drivetrain, and is equipped with a super capacitor based energy storage. The drivetrain is developed by BAE Hägglunds and the electrified hydraulics by Parker Hannifin. After 1.5 years of trial, the prototype is now in permanent operation at the Port of Helsingborg. The reach stacker is now in serial production.

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Text: Emilia Lundgren