Sveaskog Forvaltnings AB (Sveaskog) has started using the El-forest F14 forestry machine, the forwarder that uses electric-hybrid technology. The forwarder was developed by El-forest AB (El-forest) with support from Volvo Technology Transfer venture-capital company. It will be on display at Elmia Wood trade fair in Jonkoping, Sweden from June 3 to June 6, 2009 along with other forestry machinery from Volvo Construction Equipment, and also other products from Volvo Group for the forest industry.

The electric hybrid technology in the El-forest F14 has attracted huge interest among forest companies due, among other features, to the possibility of reducing fuel consumption by 20-50%, which sharply reduces carbon-dioxide emissions.

“In addition to the significant fuel reduction, productivity and operator environment were prioritized, and consequently, profitability for our customers,” says Per Wassen, chairman of El-forest and investment director at Volvo Technology Transfer, which is owned by AB Volvo.

The El-forest F14 is a series hybrid involving a smaller diesel engine that drives a generator that, via batteries, provides electric energy to electric motors in the forwarder’s six wheels.

“The drive technology developed has great potential, since, for example, the diesel engine could be replaced by alternative biofuel engines or even with fuel cells in the future,” says Per Wassen.

The El-forest F14 is lighter than a conventional forwarder of the same size, but can cope with the same load. There is less impact on the forest environment due to a patented frame structure that enables all electric-driven wheels to follow the same track with adapted speed.

Volvo Technology Transfer AB focuses on developing and supporting new businesses relevant to the Volvo Group. Part of the effort is to invest in companies and projects that are technologically and commercially attractive.

Sveaskog is a Sweden-based forest company.