February 4, 2023

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Around the country, Brøyting | Electric machines cause problems with plowing: they need to be charged for four hours after one hour of use

A short time ago, large parts of eastern Norway were at a standstill as snowy weather devastated and created traffic chaos. Behind the chaos and frustration, there are many plow truck drivers who are at least frustrated.

Because suppliers increasingly had to use power tillers.

New requirements for machinery, vehicles and the like are linked to the National Climate Plan to offer more zero-emission solutions. For example, there have been demands that municipalities purchase zero-emission vehicles, often electric, by 2025.

In some places, municipalities are starting to phase in the use of electric vehicles, for example in domestic service. requirements of the state It drew strong reactions from some mayorswho are at a loss as to what to do to secure services in small municipalities.

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Oslo Municipality is among the leaders in climate action and has adopted an ambitious climate strategy until 2030. The plan clearly states that municipality vehicles should not emit any greenhouse gases.

The approved climate strategy states: “Oslo has forward-looking companies that have early adopters of electric vehicles, set up charging stations for customers’ cars, and develop zero-emissions construction machinery. Those who succeed in meeting the climate requirements will be the winners in a market that places increasing demands on solutions climate and climate risk assessment”.

In the strategy, the city council also wrote: “In a zero-emissions city of the future, clean zero-emissions technologies (electricity and hydrogen) will form a large part of the solution to avoiding greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and machinery.”

In other words, construction sites, as well as suppliers, must be willing to use electric machinery and heavy vehicles if they are going to provide services to Oslo Municipality.

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It should take up to five hours to charge

A plow truck driver who has worked in several places in eastern Norway tells Nettavisen that power tiller trucks (wheel loaders) have caused a lot of frustration. He does not want to be named because of the risks in the workplace, but Nettavisen confirmed his background.

– There is nothing to do with electric machines in the world, he says with a sigh.

– What is causing trouble?

– In winter I can drive about an hour and a half. But there aren’t fast chargers around every corner, so I have to charge for four to five hours, so I can drive another hour and a half, he explains.

Nettavisen did further investigations with used plow trucks. According to our information, there are electric loaders in a big way. It has been confirmed from all sides that if fast chargers are not available, it will take approximately four to five hours to charge the devices. Plowing is also particularly stressful for machines, and if it is cold in addition, this negatively affects the battery.

Can’t plow fast enough

He reacted many times to the fact that he couldn’t get the plow out fast enough, because people needed to get on.

We have to shovel as fast as we can so people can get out. Especially the elderly and disadvantaged, he says.

In contrast, he describes a diesel-powered plow truck as a dream. It can only run “infinitely,” as long as you fill up with diesel.

In particular, it was more difficult in the winter, when the cold sets in. Then the battery capacity is greatly reduced.

Nettavisen also spoke to another plow driver from elsewhere in eastern Norway. It also speaks to frustrating situations due to long shipping times.

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-He says it’s completely hopeless to sit still and spend large portions of the day charging, rather than plowing.

Oslo Municipality has strict requirements

In an effort to become a zero-emissions city, major steps must be taken not only for Oslo municipality, but also for suppliers. According to a special municipal report, nearly 2,000 vehicles and machines, ranging from lawn mowers to excavators, need replacement.

Requirements from Oslo Municipality It is linked to the fact that large portions of the city’s emissions come precisely from the construction sector. Thus, they have introduced a stipulation that whoever builds in Oslo must make it fossil-free.

Among other things, priority has been or will be given to electric trucks and the like for parking lots. Expensive parking fees, better charging infrastructure, but also the widespread replacement of buses in public transport. The municipality itself has allocated NOK 88.5 million to replace machinery and vehicles with zero-emission machines. And this is only the first stage.

The city’s environment agency in Oslo says it has not yet submitted requirements for electrical machinery for road running at the time. The agency has not started using it itself for road operations. But this does not necessarily apply to suppliers.

“We know the challenges related to battery life in winter and charging challenges for machinery and vehicles used in road maintenance,” writes Roads and Streets Division Director Joachim Hjertom at the Urban Environment Agency.

But there’s no doubt about the plan: Zero emissions requirements on road operations will also be introduced, as soon as possible. Both the Swedish Road Administration and a number of others are in full swing with tests of their own, There are many suppliers who had to use electric wheel loaders for plowing.

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Understand the challenges

According to Oslo City Council, it is quite clear that eventually it will be completely zero emissions, including plowing – in line with other building and construction activities. However, the City Council has made it clear that there is an understanding that the technological development of vehicles and machinery is not necessarily moving fast enough.

The city council favors the use of biogas, and they also define it in the climate strategy. Combined with the fact that they get more biogas from waste facilities.

“However, the City Council will make clear that biogas and any other biofuels that are sustainably produced and can be documented to provide climate benefits similar to electricity and hydrogen, are an important part of the climate solution for heavy vehicles, construction machinery, and ships. Producing biogas from local waste resources is a good use.” resources and does not have the same negative impacts on production as some other biofuels.The use of biogas results in some emissions that contribute to local air pollution.”

Oslo City Council has come a long way in making its building and construction sites emission-free. But according to their numbers, 80 percent of construction sites are either private or state-owned. Recently the Environment Council Serene Staff (MDG) criticized the state for not making the construction of the new state district zero-emissions. She described the lack of inclusion of electrical machinery requirements in contracts with building suppliers as “embarrassment for the government”.