Podcast Ep. 21 - Electric advantage: the quieter building site | foresight.skanska.com

Electric advantage: the quieter building site

Is it realistic to believe that the construction sites of the future will be completely fossil fuel free? In this episode, we examine the benefits of electrifying construction sites and the challenges of achieving net-zero emissions.

We visit the first fossil fuel free construction site in Sweden, Stockholm’s Meatpacking District, and interview Skanska production manager John Schott Ericsson, who tells us about the differences between driving an excavator powered by diesel and an excavator powered by electricity.


“It’s like a whole new world. The electric excavator operators say they don’t want to go back and work with machines driven by diesel. The working conditions with electrical equipment are much better.”


James Bailey, Executive Vice President for Skanska’s West Coast USA region, tells us about the experiences and challenges of working with electrical machines in a major transit project, Los Angeles Metro’s Purple D Line Extension Project. Skanska has been testing different electric vehicles on that project, including the Volvo EC230 excavator also in use in Stockholm.


“I have to admit the operators were a little bit skeptical when we said, hey, we're going to use this electric excavator on this site. But once they got into it and they understood how it worked, the feedback was really positive. The machines cycle much quicker than their diesel counterparts. You do not have the fumes of the diesel engine running. And they were very excited, excited to really pioneer this new technology.”


Dr Ray Gallant, Volvo CE Vice President  Sustainability and Productivity Services for the USA, discusses the challenges ahead for making construction sites completely fossil-free. Original equipment manufacturer Volvo CE has one of the world’s largest range of electric machines for the construction industry, with the goal of making fossil-free machinery more accessible.


“The largest challenges are that the electric machines are not only replacing the diesel machines, but they also change how the job sites operate and what the advantages that these bring are different for different job conditions,” he says. “This new technology is finding applications where electric machines have an advantage. And it's our job as an original equipment manufacturer to isolate and find those particular applications that are attractive for this electric machine transformation.”

You can tune in, listen and subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.    


Guests in this episode

Dr Ray Gallant

Volvo CE Vice President Sustainability and Productivity Services, USA

James Bailey

Executive Vice President for Skanska’s West Coast region, USA


John Schott Ericsson
Production Manager, Skanska Sweden