Ahcène Nedjimi has always believed that they would succeed12/7/17
He’s a project manager for the team that developed the electric compact excavator, Ex2. The Ex2 was demonstrated at the Volvo Group Innovation Summit in London and more recently for the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and the French President Emmanuel Macron during the EU top meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden.
-It’s of course, both exciting and a great honour. This proves that we have succeeded in realizing our target of creating what we believe is the world’s first fully electric excavator. I have always believed that we would succeed – you have to believe – but there are no guarantees. So the first time we saw the excavator actually move was fantastic. It was a bit like having a baby! We began the project in 2012 in collaboration with six French companies and with the support of French authorities. Keeping a project together with so many different players isn’t always easy, but it’s really enjoyable and rewarding.
Testing new technology is another challenge. Among other things, we wanted to use batteries with a lower voltage than before. This requires fewer safety measures and makes it easier to collaborate with other players, from the world of passenger cars, for example. To industrialise the product we have to demonstrate the durability of the technology and make the product at the right price for our customers. We have good signs, since the cost of batteries is steadily decreasing along with other technology, so that’s starting to make electromobility more attractive financially. One way of reducing the cost is through creating economies of scale. It will only be possible when the market fully accepts this technology and we start to see major breakthroughs in terms of volume.
Ahcéne has been working for the Volvo Group since 2002 and have had a number of roles within electromobility and electronics.
- It’s fantastic being an electromobility engineer at a time like this when such major breakthroughs are being made. It will be something for me to tell my grandchildren about!
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