Swiss construction firm Liebherr recently announced an all-electric first for heavy-duty construction sites. Meet the ETM — a five-axle semi-truck mixer based on the new 670 HP all-electric Volvo FM. It’s the first mixer that’s 100% electric, and 100% awesome.
First, let’s talk about what it means for the new Liebherr to be “100% electric.” On conventional cement mixers, the truck itself — the semi that “carries” the mixer — is powered by a diesel engine. That seems fairly obvious, now that I type it out. The part that might not be obvious, though, is that there’s sometimes a second combustion engine spinning the drum. And, while Liebherr has offered an electric drum drive model, this is the first time an electric mixer drum drive has been mated to a fully electric truck chassis.
Got all that? Because, honestly, I barely understand how conventional hydraulic drums work. The electric ones, meanwhile, seem pretty straightforward. Electrons spin the thing, the thing mixes the stuff, the stuff comes out. I get it. Thankfully, Liebherr explains some of the benefits of electrification like the experts that they are, writing that, “For the first time, both the truck and the truck mixer body are powered jointly by the traction battery, eliminating the need for costly power electronics components. The new Liebherr Generation 05 electrified body offers further advantages. The compact electric drive for the mixing drum is flanged directly to the drum and its high efficiency ensures that power consumption for relieving the traction battery of the Futuricum truck remains low.”
Advantages not spelled out by Liebherr mirror those of the CASE 580 EV that debuted last week. These include a quieter, cooler, less polluted environment for both the workers on the job site and the “civilians” who live and work near the site.
Leibherr claims other advantages, too. “(The ETM 1005) also eliminates the need for any hydraulic equipment. Liebherr’s truck mixer body boasts a low net weight combined with good transport volume, a long service life due to its special wear-resistant steel and the ergonomic design of the operating system and access points,” writes Emily Thomas of World Cement. “A platform system on both sides allows flexible positioning and attachment of accessories or attachments to suit customer requirements.”