Green Construction Equipment Makes its Mark in the Desert

Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) is partnering with Baltic Sands Inc. out of Yucca Valley, California, to pilot two of its compact electric machines — the ECR25 Electric excavator and L25 Electric wheel loader. The goal? To see how these machines perform and hold up in a remote, rugged desert environment.

Baltic Sands specializes in environmentally sensitive, luxury off-grid property development and real estate, developing homes with a focus on sustainability and unique design enhanced by the surrounding environment.

The company primarily works in remote desert locations where power, water and utilities aren’t simply scarce — they’re nonexistent. While the lack of a power grid initially presented a challenge with daily charging of electrically powered equipment, it didn’t stop Company Director Jacques Marais and his team from continuing their pursuit of developing environmentally responsible housing with environmentally responsible equipment. They never hesitated to become early adopters of electromobility.

The commercial pilot is part of a $2 million grant administered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) to accelerate the deployment of zero emission technologies for off-road mobile equipment, which is one of the major contributors to nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in the South Coast Air Basin. The South Coast AQMD region includes Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, including the Coachella Valley. 

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