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The Dutch road construction company BAM Infra has built on-site the world”s first electrically powered road roller. The 10 to 12 metric ton roller is working on a project for the municipality of Almere this week. By using this zero-emission construction vehicle, BAM aims to contribute to its own climate targets and those of its clients by ensuring cleaner construction. Road construction is also currently afflicted by the nitrogen problem, as are other sectors within the construction industry. All kinds of approaches are being tried to address this problem, such as efforts to reduce emissions. Agreements had already been made about this in the Climate Accord.

Thanks to the electric propulsion system, the roller does not emit any CO2 or nitrogen. The roller is a lot quieter than current rollers as well. Whereas it generally tends to be tricky to electrify heavy equipment, a roller is better suited to this. It does not have to hoist heavy loads or constantly move soil from one place to another. All it needs is energy to drive and steer, just like an ordinary car. Even though it is, of course, much heavier, a roller doesn’t require an operational radius of hundreds of kilometers.

Roller cuts down on 44 metric tons of CO2

It saves seven liters of fuel per hour compared to the original diesel engine in the same chassis. That’s more than 70 liters per day. The company reduces CO2 emissions by around 236 kilograms per day thanks to the electric roller. Based on 180 operating days, that’s more than 42,000 kilograms on an annual basis. The roller can be deployed for eight hours on fully charged batteries. The batteries are fully recharged after just three to five hours of charging. This allows BAM to use the roller on a daily basis.

While there are already electrical alternatives on the market for lighter equipment, this is not the case for heavier equipment. Nonetheless, BAM wanted to take this step in order to meet the company’s sustainability ambitions.

Koob Bovenhuis, Manager of BAM Infra Material: “It’s incredible that we have managed this ourselves. It shows what kind of determination and know-how our people have. What started as an idea during a strategy session with the users a year and a half ago has now become a reality.”

Emission-free asphalt layer

There is a growing demand for sustainable solutions. That’s why it won’t be limited to this electric roller. “We are aiming to have an emission-free asphalt layer in the long term. Hydrogen, for example, is another conceivable solution for heavier equipment,” the company states.